PARI (AP) – If Lewis Hamilton wins his eighth Formula One title, he will be alone in the sport. And it may be the perfect time to go on an endless journey.
Hamilton’s decision to sign a one-year contract with Mercedes has sparked speculation that he may call for an end to the F1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi in December.
At that time, Hamilton will be almost 37 years old, and if he successfully defends his F1 crown, the British driver will be one point ahead of his leader Michael Schumacher.
Hamilton had nothing left to prove: most of all his titles, victories (95) և pole positions (98).
“Of course, this is the ultimate dream, but I do not think it will be a decisive factor if I stay and continue my work,” said Hamilton. “I think it’s more when I put on that helmet, I still have that smile when I get out of the garage. Will it be like this this year? Will we see if I enjoy it as much? We will see. “
The season kicks off in Bahrain on Sunday after the traditionally opening season in Melbourne, Australia, was postponed until November due to a coronavirus outbreak.
As brilliant as Hamilton was last year, he ended the season with dehydration after being infected with the virus, spending tremendous energy on racism, striving for greater diversity in motorsport, and in some countries where F1 goes, better human rights.
It all started when Hamilton մեծ most of the drivers knelt down against racism at the Austrian Grand Prix in July, when the postponed 2020 season began. While the others seemed to pay off in their devotion, Hamilton continued to push the necessary struggle in the house.
Hamilton, who became a knight in the royal diplomas at the end of the year, has the same mentality for the upcoming season.
“It’s my driving force this year. “To make sure we continue to strive for accountability, I hope I will be able to make good speeches,” he said.
“We are competing as one” F1 campaign was one of the topics of 2020, he said. “But this year (more) there is a need for action. We must make sure that we continue to have that conversation. “
Hamilton said there had been positive discussions during the pre-season tests between the drivers’ F1 president Stefano Domenicali, who “took the time to sit with us all and be open”.
The pre-season on the track did not go well for Mercedes.
It gave the rivals hope that the dominant series of seven championships of direct drivers and builders could finally be under real threat.
Red Bull star Max Verstappen went on to win the final race in Abu Dhabi last year, where he stopped, and was very confident in testing.
“I would say that Red Bull is ahead of the leaders. They are a class act. We are going to have a close season. I would say so, “said James Ames Wallace, Mercedes’ director of strategy. “Red Bull is a fierce opponent, they have a very strong package, they clearly came out of the box very quickly.”
Red Bull has an even stronger staff. Sergio Perez replaced Alex Alboni, bringing with him almost 200 GMs and 10 podiums, including second place in Turkey, followed by a superb victory at the Sakhir GP last year.
Hamilton is wary of Red Bull’s threats, saying: “There will be a long struggle with them.”
During the race last season, Werstappen was Hamilton’s main threat, although he had a slower car.
Early signs are that 23-year-old Verstappen will add his 10 wins in the GP.
“It was definitely the best lobby. “It was fun to drive, which I think is always very positive,” said Werstappen, referring to Red Bull’s reliability issues last year. “But it does not guarantee you anything. We will know where we are on the first weekend of the competition. ”
Walter Bottas is 124 points behind the other driver of “Mercedes” Hamilton, compared to 87 last season. The advantage of defeat last season was even more pronounced, given that there were four fewer races than in 2019.
The 31-year-old Finn also has a one-year contract.
It could prove to be his last chance to oust Hamilton, with Werstappen eagerly awaiting a possible future move to Mercedes.
OLD AND NEW FACES
Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has retired after missing two F1 seasons and returned at the age of 39, two years younger than Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen.
In 2005, և 06, Alonso won titles with Renault. He will drive a car for Alpine, which is a renamed Renault. Three drivers will compete in their first F1 race, including Michael Schumacher’s 22-year-old son Mick, who won the F2 title last season.
He will be joined by newcomer Nikita Mazepin in Haas, while 20-year-old Japanese driver Yuki Un Unoda is making his debut with AlphaTauri after replacing Daniel Kvyat.
Perez lost his place to four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel at Racing Point after Aston Martin took over.
Vettel Ferrari was replaced by Carlos Sainz Jr. when he left McLaren. Saints was replaced by Daniel Ricciardo, who left Renault.
TO SEE ONE
Williams driver George Lov Russell showed everyone what he could do in a leading car when he replaced Hamilton at the Sakhir Grand Prix. St’s performance almost led to the victory of the chaotic race և underlined its potential.
The 23-year-old British driver is spending the last season with Williams և in 2022 he took the place of Mercedes, probably replacing Hamilton, if he leaves F1.
This season, you can see the story before the new dawn of F1.
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