Mercedes promises Lewis Hamilton a ‘spicy’ engine for Saudi Arabian GP
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Max Verstappen, left, and Lewis Hamilton put their F1 rivalry on edge in 2021.
Mercedes has promised to provide Lewis Hamilton with a ‘spicy’ engine to fight Max Verstappen in the penultimate race of their riveting Formula 1 championship rivalry.
The Saudi Arabian GP will be held in Jeddah on December 6 and the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP will take place the following weekend.
A Hamilton under pressure bounced back to win the last two races and narrow the gap with Verstappen to just eight points. There are 52 points available from the remaining two games and all to play for.
The race for the F1 title is about to go on the wire.
Hamilton sparked his resurgence with a brilliant run in Brazil a fortnight ago, ignoring penalties for using a new engine to move from 10th to first place.
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He resisted the urge to use that engine again last weekend, but still managed a comfortable victory in Qatar to increase the pressure on his Dutch rival.
Now Mercedes will release the “new” engine again in Saudi Arabia, believing it to be suitable for the first track where rock-solid speed should be rewarded.
“These are long straights and we are going to bring out our spicy gear,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.
“Saudi Arabia should be a good lead for us. But we know this year, when you think it’s a good year, it might change the other way around, but it’s a long straight line.
Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ track engineering director, supported this theory.
“We have seen some pretty significant performance changes over the last few races, [but] if we look at the track in arabia i think that should be fine for us, ”he said. The temperature.
“For Lewis, we have the most powerful engine to go in the car, so that’s going to give him a useful engine.
“We are always careful before going to a race, thinking that everything will go our way. What we do know, however, are the things we need to tune well about the settings, what we need to properly tune the tires and how they work.
“That’s what we’re going to be busy doing over the next few days, making sure we take every opportunity we can to get there in good shape. “
The drivers’ championship lead has changed hands between Hamilton and Verstappen five times this season, and there could be yet another twist in this formidable story if it is confined to the last race.
But Verstappen could make this academic to Saudi Arabia where he has a chance to claim the title without a decision maker required in the Abu Dhabi final. Calculators will be busy.
With nine race wins compared to Hamilton’s seven so far this season, Verstappen will be the champion if he wins and sets the fastest lap in Jeddah and Hamilton finishes sixth or less, or if he wins and Hamilton finishes less than seventh.