Can anyone stop Lewis Hamilton romping to another F1 Drivers’ Championship?
Lewis Hamilton appears to be well on course to winning his fourth consecutive F1 Drivers’ Championship, potentially the eighth of his incredible career, blazing a trail with four wins out of six races for the 2020 season after his most recent victory at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Achieving the 88th race win of his career and 5th at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, only Michael Schumacher has won more times at the Spanish venue than Hamilton, with the German icon maintaining his record of 6 career victories there between 1995 and 2004. Meanwhile, the British driver extends what looks to be an unassailable lead at the top of the championship points table, with only Verstappen and Bottas presenting any significant competition.
Following every twist and turn of the 2020 F1 season, sites that collate odds and betting options that include F1 among their markets now seem to indicate that Hamilton already has the World Drivers’ Championship in the bag, with only Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas considered to have any chance of catching the British track superstar. Indeed, it appears that disastrous results for Hamilton in the remaining races of the season might be the only way they can close the gap in points.
Promising start for the challengers
It was an excellent drive from Bottas at the Austrian Grand Prix that claimed the first win of the 2020 F1 season, which initially suggested that Hamilton might be up for a genuine battle to retain his championship title this year. However, another British driver hit the headlines, as Lando Norris gained the first points of his F1 career with McClaren, finishing third on the podium, while Hamilton had to settle for a disappointing 4th position on the day.
After missing out on a podium finish at the Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton was untouchable in the second race of the campaign around the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, being over 13.7 seconds ahead of his Mercedes teammate Bottas for the chequered flag at the Styrian Grand Prix, although thanks to finishing in second position, the Finnish driver retained his early leadership of Drivers’ Championship.
Nevertheless, when Hamilton flew around the famous Hungaroring to win his second race in a row, his teammate Bottas was nudged down to 3rd on the podium after a fierce battle with Verstappen. Although the Fin had been flying around the track at an excellent pace in the final stages, the Dutchman managed to hold his position on the final lap.
Considering he’d started the Hungarian Grand Prix 7th on the grid, it was a hugely impressive performance by Verstappen, suggesting that he could yet throw his hat in the ring for a championship challenge with Red Bull.
Hamilton continues to dominate F1
No driver in Formula 1 has ever enjoyed more success in the British Grand Prix than Hamilton, who always looks forward to competing at the Silverstone Circuit. Having already won six times before, the 35-year-old didn’t disappoint by claiming his seventh career win there, despite having to wrestle his car around the final lap with a punctured tyre. Bottas finished 11th with tyre problems of his own, while Verstappen took second place.
At the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix seven days later, to commemorate the very first Grand Prix championship race held at Silverstone in 1950. It was the first race of the season that Mercedes didn’t win, as Verstappen and Red Bull claimed an impressive victory, while Hamilton came second and Bottas was third.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 16, 2020
Returning to the most recent race outcome at the Spanish Grand Prix, as Hamilton widened the points gap above both Verstappen and Bottas, along with recording the 88th win if his career, he also reached a highly significant milestone.
Having matched the career podiums record set by legendary Michael Schumacher with 155, Hamilton achieved his 156th podium finish at Barcelona-Catalunya. It’s unlikely to see anyone else matching that record any time soon, as he cruises towards yet another F1 title.