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2021 World Champion?


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Poll: Can you predict the future? (220 member(s) have cast votes)

Who will be the 2021 Formula 1 World Champion?

  1. Lewis Hamilton (119 votes [54.09%])

    Percentage of vote: 54.09%

  2. Max Verstappen (73 votes [33.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.18%

  3. Valtteri Bottas (2 votes [0.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.91%

  4. Sergio Perez (1 votes [0.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.45%

  5. other (4 votes [1.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.82%

  6. Nikita Mazepin (21 votes [9.55%])

    Percentage of vote: 9.55%

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#1 noikeee

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:17

So we've had the chance to see the cars in 2 different circuits and different conditions now, so we now have a better idea of what kind of championship we will have. Round 1 went Max's way in qualy then just barely Lewis' way in the race. Round 2 went just barely Lewis' way in qualy then Max's way in the race, though Lewis showed incredible pace in the latter stages of the race, too. Red Bull have perhaps looked like the quicker car in 1 lap, but have struggled with reliability niggles and Mercedes look much closer, maybe even quicker, in race pace. Red Bull have cornering speed, Mercedes have straight line speed. 2nd drivers Bottas and Perez have not looked much in contention yet.
 
This seems set up to be as tight a duel as we've seen in maybe over a whole decade of F1, so it could be a pretty special year. Time to place your bets. Which way will it go? The established star adding another championship to his huge trophies room; or the young guy getting his first one? Will the development race swing things one way over the other, and ruin the close battle by giving someone a clearer advantage? Or perhaps you're thinking out of the box and someone other than Lewis and Max shocks us all and beats them both against all the odds? What do you think will happen in 2021, now we've seen it starting to play out?

Edited by noikeee, 20 April 2021 - 09:18.


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#2 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:23

Charles Leclerc

#3 Claudius

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:31

Lewis Hamilton.



#4 SilverArrow31

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:37

Isn't this just a versus thread? Specifically Hamilton vs Verstappen, the most toxic of versus threads. I can't see this ending well, or lasting long



#5 Augurk

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:47

I wouldn't be able to confidently predict at this stage. And I'm loving it. 



#6 noikeee

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:47

Isn't this just a versus thread? Specifically Hamilton vs Verstappen, the most toxic of versus threads. I can't see this ending well, or lasting long

 

I'm not asking who's the best driver, I'm asking who will win the championship.



#7 Lights

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:50

The one who scores the most points.



#8 TheAviator

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 09:51

Whoever has better car. Max is tiny bit faster over one lap, but experience is still on Ham/Merc side.

#9 JeePee

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:01

I honestly don't care one bit. I would love to know as late as possible who's gonna be champion. I'm rooting for Max, but as long as the fight is long and heavy, Lewis deserves it just as much.

 

Last year I had 5/6 correct guesses in Pole/Win/Fastest Lap in the first two races. Now I just have 1. That's awesome.



#10 messy

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:02

I'm still going for Lewis but I think mercifully it's going to be quite close this year. 



#11 Spillage

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:03

I've gone for Verstappen, but more in hope for something different than expectation. I don't see him making the errors that Vettel did v Lewis and I think he may even be a shade faster than Lewis in the same car.

The question really is whether Red Bull can resist the Mercedes development juggernaut. I'm not sure they can.

Edited by Spillage, 20 April 2021 - 10:04.


#12 TomNokoe

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:08

Hamilton, but I'm only 60% sure.

 

If I had to make an assessment as to each driver and team's strengths and weaknesses so far, it looks like Red Bull have a slightly quicker car on Saturday, but Mercedes have an even quicker car on Sunday, especially in a straight line. The calendar is biased towards power-sensitive tracks, which I think will help Mercedes.

Before the season I would've said that Max had a very small edge over Lewis over one lap, but this hasn't been shown in the opening two races. I think Lewis retains an edge in race pace and tyre preservation, but it's difficult to know how much of this is driver vs chassis.

 

I've been very, very surprised to see both drivers make errors already. I don't know who will be less error-prone as the season progresses.

 

If both drivers maximise their own performance then I see Lewis taking it by a hair.



#13 Risil

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:13

I don't think Max will crack under the pressure but the signs are that Hamilton will maximize his opportunities when he hits trouble or the car is below-par. This is what wins close championships so I'm giving the edge to Lewis.

If Red Bull out-develops Mercedes over the season though I think Verstappen will be too strong whatever Lewis does. Max is very fast and there'll be races he wins through sheer willpower too.

Set up very nicely is what I'm saying.

#14 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:15

The one who scores the most points.


Who will score the most points?

#15 noikeee

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:17

Who will score the most points?

 

Who gets better results.  :D



#16 Gareth

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:21

If Red Bull out-develops Mercedes over the season though I think Verstappen will be too strong whatever Lewis does. Max is very fast and there'll be races he wins through sheer willpower too.

I think for Merc, the corporate juggernaut keeping rolling for the next rules cycle will be considerably more important than an 8th WDC for Hamilton.

 

For Red Bull, winning their first championship since 2013 will be huge.

So I think RBR will outdevelop Merc this season, and voted Verstappen.



#17 Dratini

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:26

I want Max to win it, but I just have this feeling that Lewis will clinch it. The combination of Mercedes and Hamilton are well seasoned and well prepared for such a showdown. Red Bull probably are not as refined as they were at the height of their four year stint in 2010-13, and I just feel like that's ultimately going to be the difference this year.


Edited by Dratini, 20 April 2021 - 10:27.


#18 Muppetmad

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:28

*If* the season continues as it has started, whoever wins the title this year will be a very worthy victor. As for who I think will win it... I really couldn't say at this stage, and I'm delighted.



#19 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:35

I feel like Red Bull have hit enough momentum for Max to win it in the end. But whatever happens I expect a close fight. We’ve already seen that it’s close enough that tough strategy choices will make a difference, and the pressure is going to be on both so mistakes are and will continue to be made.

Both teams aren’t used to being in a close championship fight. I don’t see any difference there.

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#20 Gambelli

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:36

I fear that reliability will play too much of a role, Red Bull still have some reliability issues, Mercedes just never break down, if that continues to be the trend, then there's very little chance I feel that Max can come back from a 2 DNF deficit, even a 1 DNF deficit will be tough when they are so close...



#21 jjcale

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:41

I'll tell you in 2-3 more rounds .... need to see if Merc's idea for the direction of the car is the right one... seems to me they are still checking. 

 

Remember - we still dont know how they spent their tokens...



#22 Synkro89

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:47

Reliability will eventually rear its ugly head on Redbulls side. With both cars having quite a few issues in practice i expect that to creep in and cost Max a DNF at some point. Merc have generally had better reliability  especially on Hamiltons side. I don't want DNF/Reliability to decide it but ive got to be realistic and suspect it will.



#23 Marklar

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:48

ohno, whenever somebody opens this thread the season derails

i think Lewis will still do it. And my fear is that it will be over reliability.

#24 Dratini

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:49

Reliability will eventually rear its ugly head on Redbulls side. With both cars having quite a few issues in practice i expect that to creep in and cost Max a DNF at some point. Merc have generally had better reliability  especially on Hamiltons side. I don't want DNF/Reliability to decide it but ive got to be realistic and suspect it will.

If I had to guess, I'd say Red Bull's differential will be the root of their problems
 



#25 sabjit

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:51

I cant help but feel this will go same way as 2017/18, be close for first half of the season and then Merc just clicks and for a period Hamilton wins 4 or 5 races on the bounce and puts the contest out of reach. Especially if coupled with a bout of RB unreliability which they still seem vulnerable to. Vettel's 14 point lead over the summer break in 2017 swung to a 60 point lead for Hamilton in just 5 races. Similar swing happened in 2018 between Germany and Singapore.



#26 Clatter

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:52

I can't call it between max or lewis at the moment. It's a shame there are not more in the mix.

#27 Mercstar

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:52

Hamilton

 

Still think he's unmatched over the course of a season, also with RB and Merc appearing neck and neck, I feel he will more often than not make the difference.

 

Also get the feeling Merc will have stronger reliability.



#28 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:54

I can't call it between max or lewis at the moment. It's a shame there are not more in the mix.


How cool would it be if Lando was an outside shot too?

#29 johnbarton

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:54

I've gone for Hamilton - but i think it will be close. Hamilton/Mercedes have the experience on their side, 2017 springs to mind when overturning a deficit. The Red Bull also looks slightly fragile - i just hope the title isn't decided due to DNFs



#30 SenorSjon

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 10:56

I expect Lewis to win it, but I hope it will be Max.

 

More than one reason:

  • I just don't see RB outperforming Mercedes over 23 races.
  • The Merc is king on tire wear.
  • RB has too many small problems. They had to replace parts on Max' car overnight for Sunday which in the end gave it way better performance over kerbs than Saturday. If only they found out earlier... That could have been pole. Just like in Bahrain he had diff issues and couldn't use full power in the latter stages. Seeing Stroll getting 5s for his pass this race, Verstappen should have tried it in the previous one, just like Perez who took a penalty this race. The Wall needs to be sharp. 
  • With Lewis' luck, you can't beat him. Period. The lows will decide who wins.

Edited by SenorSjon, 20 April 2021 - 10:58.


#31 noikeee

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:09

I cant help but feel this will go same way as 2017/18, be close for first half of the season and then Merc just clicks and for a period Hamilton wins 4 or 5 races on the bounce and puts the contest out of reach. Especially if coupled with a bout of RB unreliability which they still seem vulnerable to. Vettel's 14 point lead over the summer break in 2017 swung to a 60 point lead for Hamilton in just 5 races. Similar swing happened in 2018 between Germany and Singapore.

Yeah that's exactly what I'm fearing.

 

I thought it was telling that Lewis made a very unusual huge mistake Sunday and still only lost 6 points to Max. I don't expect many more opportunities like that for Max to gain a lot of points, to appear again. Add to it the creeping doubts about RB unreliability and I had to vote Lewis.



#32 PlatenGlass

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:16

No Norris?



#33 Grayson

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:26

I've gone for Hamilton, but it's ultra-close!

 

I think it's going to be very, very close between Mercedes and Red Bull so ultimately I think that Hamilton is slightly more likely to get the best possible results on the day.

 

When the Red Bull has a slight edge over Mercedes, I can see Hamilton squeaking a result out (look at the last few laps of Bahrain, look at qualifying at Imola). Even though Verstappen has proven himself to be an absolutely exceptional driver, I don't think he'll beat Hamilton on the days when Mercedes has a slight edge quite as often!

 

Either way, here's hoping the championship battle goes to the last race!



#34 shure

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:32

I'm going to go for Hamilton because I think ultimately Merc has the better race car and it looks like they are definitely closing the qualifying gap.  So I think there's more potential in the Merc than the Red Bull.  

 

But ultimately I think it's too close to call with any accuracy.  I don't see any scenario barring some unforeseen disaster that would result in a different WDC to those two, though



#35 cheekybru

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:33

I think Lewis will put up a hell of a fight and keep it close for a while, but normally the faster car always wins out over 20+ races, so I predict Max

#36 Fatgadget

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:38

A driver vs driver thread disguised to look like something else!



#37 Singularity

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:39

Many votes for Nikita Mazepin and I think I must agree there. If we just look at his lap times, he is not extraordinary, but there is more to it that only a trained eye can see: The distance! All he need to do to beat everyone is to stop embellishing the lines as he is doing right now. Yes, I know that he is an entertainer at first, since autoracing is entertainment, but doing 360 degree turns, when the track does not call for it, _will_ hurt the lap times. Just keep it simple, Nikita, and the future is yours!
 



#38 Marklar

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:40

I cant help but feel this will go same way as 2017/18, be close for first half of the season and then Merc just clicks and for a period Hamilton wins 4 or 5 races on the bounce and puts the contest out of reach. Especially if coupled with a bout of RB unreliability which they still seem vulnerable to. Vettel's 14 point lead over the summer break in 2017 swung to a 60 point lead for Hamilton in just 5 races. Similar swing happened in 2018 between Germany and Singapore.

There are some differences though.

Back then there was no doubt for me who the better drivers is and who the better race operation has. There was also a development race, which wont have this time. If you compare both teams they are similar: the cars are similar (tiny edge for RB probably), #1 drivers are similar good, #2 drivers (in form) are (potential edge for RB here since the motivation is different), race operation are similar, engines are similar (tiny edge Merc). The only factor that isnt is reliability, but it's way less variables at play then back then. So I dont expect either of them to break down midway through the season. I'm sure this will go at least until the penultimate round.

Edited by Marklar, 20 April 2021 - 11:41.


#39 Anderis

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:47

I think Hamilton will win. I just don't have confidence in Red Bull vs Mercedes over a whole season, especially in terms of reliability, but even in terms of strategy Mercedes played the Bahrain race better and it wouldn't surprise me if it was a trend to come.

 

Also Hamilton already banked 19 points in a bad race at Imola. If Verstappen can only gain 6 points over Hamilton in a race in which Lewis crashes into the wall and finds himself a lap down, I have no idea how Max is going to win the championship.



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#40 Cyanide

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 11:49

Max won in more difficult conditions, so I'm gonna predict he will come out on top. 

 

It really depends on the developments though. 



#41 Henri Greuter

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:00

I think Lewis.

He has already scored at least 12 more points in the first two races thanks to questionable interpretation of track limit rules and the fortune to see a race being red fallged so that he got a full lap back and have his car repaired for free and thus score a second place whlie without that red flag he should have been happy with whatever amount of points he could still score after that error But 18 like what happened now had never been possible .

Max has lost 7 points due to that very same interpretation of track limit rules that favoured Lewis. All together that is already at least 17 points less difference between Max and Lewis than how it could have been.

 

I then fear that Mercedes will still retain an advantage in reliability mechanically over RedBull so I see Lewis finish more races than Max.

Driver error causing loss of points if not retirement, regret to say but I think Max will be hampered more than that then Lewis as well.

 

All that combined makes be believe that the chances for Lewis are still the best.

Those 17 or so lucky points are already in the bag and maybe that will eventually be decisive. If that would indeed be the case, then it will take a lot of the glamour of that title of Lewis away for me.

 

But all of this with the comment that I dearly hope to be proven wrong as for as the outcome of who will win the title, as long as it isn't because of Lewis being eliminated from the season one way or another due to injury or worse.

 



#42 Calum

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:04

Voted Verstappen but I’m just glad we don’t know for sure.

Makes for a great season.

#43 Rumblestrip

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:04

It's a bit sad that there are four competitive seats this year but two of the drivers have zero votes so far.

 

I voted for Hamilton, just thinking that experience will win the day. 



#44 Kao18

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:09

If things stay more or less as they are, RB and Mercedes pretty evenly matched, it will be close no doubt, reliability will be a factor but collisions and damage/punctures because of them too. Based on T1 at Imola neither will want to back off when the time comes and I have a feeling that was just the tip of the iceberg and we are going to see a lot more of that.

 

Lewis will need to give his absolute best every race now he is fighting Max and already looks to be changing his approach a bit, no more backing off and staying patient at all times. How will he handle this over a season? The same applies to Max but his approach has always been a bit more aggressive so it might come more natural to him. In any case it will lead to more errors during the season on both sides I am sure.

 

Then there is team strategies which will also play an important factor. With things being close the championship could potentially be decided by Bottas and Perez . So far they have both not been great but it will be interesting to see who will come out on top of these two over a longer period and can actually steal points and play a bigger role in the outcome of races.

 

In any case as long as there is not one clearly dominant team it will be impossible to tell who will come out on top. And even if there is a reasonable gap between Max and Lewis in the standings mid season it will still be pretty much open as a case could be made for both of them doing better in the second half of the season.

 

I am still voting for Max based on determination.



#45 Clatter

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:12

How cool would it be if Lando was an outside shot too?

It would be sweet, but the car is too far off the pace to pick up the big points unless something happens at the front.

#46 Gareth

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:20

How cool would it be if Lando was an outside shot too?

The Heinz Harold Frentzen of 2021, or something.



#47 PlayboyRacer

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:22

It would be sweet, but the car is too far off the pace to pick up the big points unless something happens at the front.

You're likely right. I do believe it's Hamilton v Verstappen all the way. But it doesn't take much to shake things up.

Until the red flag hit, we had Hamilton nowhere and Leclerc in 2nd. Norris 3rd. Likely staying that way to the finish. Nobody would have predicted that prior to the race.

I wouldn't totally discount an outsider at this early stage. Already we've seen Lewis and Max dropping the ball at times.

#48 Cliff

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:22

I hope Max, but I think Lewis. The Merc already seems better in the race and I think the RB reliability is going to have a deciding factor.

#49 PayasYouRace

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:40

The Heinz Harold Frentzen of 2021, or something.


I was thinking an Ayrton Senna circa 1986 but the principle is the same.

#50 Kao18

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Posted 20 April 2021 - 12:53

You're likely right. I do believe it's Hamilton v Verstappen all the way. But it doesn't take much to shake things up.

Until the red flag hit, we had Hamilton nowhere and Leclerc in 2nd. Norris 3rd. Likely staying that way to the finish. Nobody would have predicted that prior to the race.

I wouldn't totally discount an outsider at this early stage. Already we've seen Lewis and Max dropping the ball at times.

 

:confused: