The Englishman Lewis Hamilton, who celebrated his seventh win of the year, and the Dutchman Max Verstappen, whose lead was reduced to eight points with two races to go, further strained the Formula One World Championship in the debutant Qatar; where Fernando Alonso shone in the Losail night; climbing seven years later, to a podium that became number 98 of his brilliant career in the premier class.
Hamilton seemed doomed in Mexico, where the young Dutch star won and his Mexican partner Sergio Pérez added the music - with his fifteenth podium of the year - to the great Red Bull party. But the eccentric and spectacular Stevenage champion also counts resilience among his virtues; And, after winning the following two weekends, in Sao Paulo (Brazil) and in Losail, he has put the World Cup red hot. After raising to 102 two of his own historical records in Formula One: that of 'poles' and that of victories.
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Both the captains of Mercedes, as that of Red Bull, depend on themselves. In broad strokes, Hamilton will achieve an unprecedented eighth title if he wins the two remaining races, but Verstappen could already be crowned in Arabia, in two Sundays, if he wins and the Englishman does not improve an eighth place; or even being second in Jeddah, if the Briton does not score in the penultimate test.
Everything seems to indicate, however, that access to the throne is located on the Yas Marina circuit, in Abu Dhabi. In a World Cup whose emotion is also transferred to the Constructors' World Cup, in which Mercedes - winner of the last seven - leads Red Bull by five points.
If the contest is not decided in Arabia, the champion will be certified in the United Arab Emirates. Yas Marina, present at the World Cup since 2009, will host the thirteenth edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. A 5.281 meter track that Verstappen won last year; but in which nobody equals the five wins of Hamilton.