Formula 1: Saudi Arabia Grand Prix
Venue: Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Saudi Arabia.
Race Date: 5th December 2021
The first ever Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on the F1 calendar could not come at a more important time in the Driver’s Championship. It has been all systems go in the F1 title race in recent weeks, thanks in the main to back to back wins for Lewis Hamilton, who has reduced the gap in the title race to just 8 points between him and Max Verstappen. As the circus rolls into Saudi Arabia, the stakes simply could not be higher and both men will be out to achieve their respective goals from the outset.
With only 2 races to go in the Formula One season, it is very much now or never for some drivers and teams in Saudi Arabia here: –
When it comes to pulling results out of the fire, nobody can compete with Lewis Hamilton and the defending Formula 1 World Champion has shown all his quality in recent weeks, winning in Qatar and Brazil last time out. The manner of both of those victories also made it very clear to Max Verstappen that Hamilton is still very much in the mix and the momentum now appears to be with him as he goes in pursuit of a record 8th F1 World Championship title. New race tracks tend to suit Hamilton, who in the eyes of the purists reminds the best driver on the grid and he could be tough to stop here.
The lead Max Verstappen holds in the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship appears to diminish every week and with only 8 points now between the drivers, the pressure on the Dutchman is intense. Hamilton has had the wood over him in both Brazil and Qatar and with the speed in the Red Bull car not what it was at the start of the season, he looks to be a man hanging on for dear life. As it stands though, Verstappen knows that he has his fate in his own hands and one good drive could all but see him over the line, as he looks for his maiden F1 Drivers Championship title.
As he enters his penultimate drive as a frontline Mercedes driver, Valtteri Bottas will be looking to put on a real show before he joins the exciting Alfa Romeo project. Ironically, the Finn has developed a real run of consistency in recent weeks and excellent showings in Brazil and Qatar are sure to have the Mercedes hierarchy asking whether they have made the correct decision in letting him go. He is a classy operator though and how he would love to disturb the Verstappen title push here in Saudi Arabia this weekend.
Top Six Finish
2021 has thrown up its fair share of thrills and spills already this season and there will be plenty of racers fancying their chances of cracking the top 6 in Saudi Arabia this weekend:-
Red Bull have had an excellent season and whilst the plaudits will inevitably go the way of Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez has also been in good form throughout the campaign. The Mexican is another driver known for his speed and his quality around the Saudi Arabian track could prove invaluable as he looks to put points on the board for his team.
Speed looks set to be king at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and few drivers on the grid are as quick as Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman possesses the tendency to be heavily involved in some of the biggest races on the calendar and with plenty of attention set to be on the race for the title, Gasly could sneak under the radar somewhat this weekend.
Three-time Brazilian Grand Prix winner Sebastian Vettel cannot seem to generate any sort of consistency in 2021 and finds himself 12th in the Driver’s Championship as a result. He has picked up some decent results in his Aston Martin at times this term, without being able to string any results together. He is always a candidate at any new track though and he will be looking to finish the season in style here in Saudi Arabia.
F1 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix Best Bets:
Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton – 1/2
Top Six Finish: Pierre Gasly – 4/5