Schumacher holds Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen belief ahead of F1 title showdown

Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children

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Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher believes Lewis Hamilton’s epic title battle with Max Verstappen will go down in the history books. The two rivals are locked in an intense battle for the world championship in what has been one of the greatest F1 seasons in the sport’s history.

They have won 17 races between them in 2021 and enter the finale in Abu Dhabi remarkably tied on points – just the second time such a scenario has played out in the sport’s history. 

Sunday’s dramatic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix saw two red flags, multiple virtual safety car interventions and five drivers crash out before Hamilton won his eighth race of the season. 

The two F1 title contenders fought for the race lead throughout, with controversial moments and exhilarating restarts aplenty.

The Brit ended up taking the chequered flag to tie the drivers’ standings ahead of the weekend’s eagerly-anticipated finale.

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Verstappen finished second despite being dealt two time penalties for a total of 15 seconds.

Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, Schumacher believes this season’s championship has been one for the history books.

“I mean, both [drivers] deserve it,” he told Sky Germany.

“I think both are amazing drivers and we will be talking about this championship for ages.”

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Schumacher, whose brother Michael is tied with Hamilton for the most world championships in the sport’s history, believes the Brit is the favourite for the title.

The Brit has won three races in a row to claw his way back into contention, and the Abu Dhabi track is believed to favour Mercedes’ straight-line speed. 

However, changes have been made to the circuit with various corners redesigned and reconfigured.

When talking about the Mercedes advantage at the Yas Marina Circuit, Schumacher said: “Seeing the changes, Red Bull might feel a little better for this track but the race performance is a problem.

“The Mercedes is much stronger than the Red Bull at the moment on the longer runs. 

“It seems to look after the tyres better, so Lewis is capable of doing a much better pace in the race so it’s in Lewis’ hands: his engine and package is better.”

If Verstappen cannot beat Hamilton on the track, the German suggested another way the Dutchman could win a maiden world championship – but insisted he hopes it doesn’t happen.

“In theory, Max could crash with Lewis and still be the champion because he has one victory more in his pocket,” he added.

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