After years of Mercedes dominance, we see the rise of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc in the first eight events of the calendar. It is the transfer of powers between two generations.
• Also read: Formula 1: Three-way battle between Verstappen, Leclerc and Perez
Verstappen and Leclerc are in a heated battle for the championship. Every point collected along the route could be decisive.
The Dutchman is on fire having won four of the last five races. At this pace he could win a second championship in a row. This time he could do it convincingly.
At the same time, he was able to close the valve on his critics. We remember Verstappen getting his hands on his first crown last year against controversial backgrounds. This year, the tension could end rather quickly.
As for Leclerc, his potential has never been in doubt. He also signed a five-year contract with Ferrari in 2019. That shows how much the Scuderia believes in him.
This season, thanks to a more efficient single-seater, Leclerc is proving he can be a serious contender for the highest honours. In recent weeks he has excelled in qualifying but his car has had reliability issues in the race. Despite everything, he was able to hit Verstappen with his elbow until the end.
Portraits of other pilots
Speaking of the new generation of riders, we can’t forget George Russell and Lando Norris, two young guns who had a great time last season.
Despite Mercedes’ struggles since the start of the season, Russell prevailed, finishing in the top five in every event and taking three podiums.
If he wants to challenge Verstappen he needs help from his team to improve his car. Russell is capable of great things on the track given the chance.
In the case of Norris, expectations ahead of the season opener were very high. The McLaren driver also has a lot of potential but the results are not up to par at the moment.
He has only one podium and two top five finishes to his credit. Norris has to hope for a better return for the rest of the calendar.
The case of Mercedes
It hasn’t been easy for the Mercedes team since the start of the season and for… Lewis Hamilton. Either way, they fall short of their usual standards.
Suddenly, even though the season is still young, the seven-time world champion could miss his place in F1 history again.
In the first eight races he was only once on the podium. It was in Bahrain with a third place. After that he didn’t break anything.
Aside from battling young wolves on the track, his single-seater isn’t as efficient as it used to be. Not to mention he’s been battling a back injury for the past week.
On the other hand, he confirmed his presence in Montreal, one of his favorite circuits on the calendar. He must hope that the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit will bring him luck again.