Lewis Hamilton vs. Max Verstappen: “I’m not sure they finish the race!” – Abu Dhabi F1 Journal


“I’m not sure they’ll finish the race”

The battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen for the world championship crown not only captivated sports fans around the world, it also caused the paddock to be talked about as their fellow drivers all weighed in on who they favored for the title ahead of the season finale in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Just as many F1 fans predict a chaotic end to what has been a fierce duel between Hamilton and Verstappen, some drivers believe a collision between the top two at the Yas Marina circuit seems inevitable, given the tension. of their rivalry in recent races. .

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Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri is one of those concerned.

“I think Max will have the advantage at the end. I’m not sure they’ll finish the race but I think Red Bull and Max will, ”said the Frenchman on Thursday.

George Russell, who is leaving Williams and joining Mercedes for 2022, said he “would like” to see Hamilton win an eighth world championship trophy, adding: “You can say that they both deserve to win for different reasons. , but I hope it’s a clean and fair race and the best wins.

Gift from Alonso’s secret Santa Claus for Ricciardo

You can always count on Daniel Ricciardo to make a joke, or 10, during any conversation and Thursday was no different as the affable Australian walked into his press conference with a temporary tattoo of the face of Fernando Alonso glued to his arm.

When the McLaren driver looked at himself at the screen in front of him, he couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of the two-time world champion’s head painted just under his biceps.

“I just saw the tattoo,” said Ricciardo crackingly. “Fernando just got me for Secret Santa, and with a nice bottle of red he gave me temporary Fernando tattoos, that’s beautiful.”

When asked if he ever had another athlete tattooed, who it would be, Ricciardo replied, “I mean, it looks pretty good. He’s the only athlete I’ve ever had a tattoo on my arm, so I don’t want to hit him. He also has a nice tan; look, it is shining in the sun. I will stay true to my first one: Fernando Alonso. Look, he’s handsome.

Lucky for Ricciardo, Alonso gave him a whole pack of Fernando tattoos!

“I heard it was a million dollars”

A new “Overtaking King” award was announced by F1 this year and entering the last race of the season, Sebastian Vettel leads the standings with 127 overtakes, two ahead of Fernando Alonso 125 and six ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who takes his lead. retirement.

In Jeddah, the drivers realized they didn’t know what the prize was for winning the newly presented prize, but were determined to find out.

On Thursday in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Vettel learned he had taken the lead thanks to his 12 overtakes in Saudi Arabia last weekend.

“In this case, obviously it was good to start so far,” said Vettel, who added jokingly: “I heard (the price) is $ 1 million but I’m not sure what Maybe they are just rumors. “

Alonso then joked that he was tempted to start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from the pit lane for the chance to add more to his overtaking tally. “I don’t mind if you will,” Gasly added, as he sat next to the Spaniard in a shared press conference.

By the way, Alonso told automobilsport.com that overtaking Gasly in Qatar “was the best (of the season) as he prepared us well for the podium and I was determined to get off to a good start”.

Jackson, Jordan or Schumacher?

During Thursday’s media day, young F1 fans from schools across the UAE had the opportunity to ask the drivers questions via video submissions. At Vettel and Mick Schumacher’s press conference, a young student named Nicole asked the drivers: “Have you become the one you dreamed of being when you were young?

Vettel offered this thoughtful response.

“It depends on the moment. At one point, I wanted to be like Michael Jackson, so I failed. At one point, I wanted to become like Michael Jordan, I failed. And at one point I wanted to become like Michael Schumacher, so I also failed, but I think I was probably the closest of the three, ”said the four-time German world champion.

“I think this question is very difficult to answer, because you dream of being so many different characters when you are young. But like I said, with Michael I became very close, especially getting to know him and becoming a friend. So yeah, I think I’m happy with where I am.

Sebastian vettel

Image credit: Getty Images

“We’re all a little crazy”

During the frenetic race in Jeddah, Hamilton was overheard on the radio saying Verstappen was “f ****** insane” after the Dutchman slowed down, at the behest of his Red Bull team, to cede his position to his rival. – a movement that a confused Hamilton did not understand at the start.

Hamilton said on Thursday it was a statement in the heat of the moment and we shouldn’t read too much.

“Honestly, when you’re in the races, you say all kinds of things because you’re in the heat of the moment, the adrenaline goes up, your emotions are on edge, so yes I would say it is. a figure of speech ”, declared the Briton.

“I think at the end of the day as racing drivers we’re all a little bit crazy that we can do what we do, take the risks that we do.”

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP look on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on December 9, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Image credit: Getty Images

Another classic Kimi moment

As 42-year-old Raikkonen prepares for his very last F1 race, the Finnish driver was his typical humor during his conversation with the press on Thursday.

Asked by a reporter about his immediate plans with the family after Sunday’s race, the unmoved Raikkonen said: “Even though I know, I wouldn’t tell you.”

We will definitely miss the ‘Iceman’!

Kimi Räikkönen fährt am Wochenende in Abu Dhabi within letztes Formel-1-Rennen

Image credit: Getty Images

The “boring” life of Norris and Leclerc

Norris and Leclerc are two of the youngest drivers on the grid but apparently in their spare time their lives are like that of an old retiree.

“I feel like mine is like a retired old man in his sixties playing golf, that’s about my life,” said Norris, who turned 22 last month when ‘a young fan asked him about his daily life away from the track.

“Pretty much like me, other than an old man who plays golf, I play the piano, but it’s a pretty boring life,” added Leclerc, 24.

“Every time I come home the only thing I want to do is try to relax at home because I don’t spend a lot of time at home, I just stay with the family, I play the piano , that’s all.”

Lando Norris (McLaren) – 2021 Turkish GP

Image credit: Getty Images

Quarantine awaits homesickness Tsunoda and Ricciardo

Drivers like Yuki Tsunoda and Ricciardo haven’t returned home to Japan and Australia respectively for a long time and will need to quarantine themselves first when they return before reuniting with friends and family.

“I intend to return to Japan, finally. The last time I was there was in January, so it’s been a long year, so I miss Japanese food and my friends so much so it will be fun, ”Tsunoda said.

“The Covid restrictions are getting a bit tighter compared to the last few months in Japan, so I have to quarantine. It won’t be easy, but I always look forward to it.

Yuki Tsunoda of Scuderia AlphaTauri and Japan during practice before the Azerbaijani F1 Grand Prix at Baku City Circuit on June 04, 2021 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Image credit: Getty Images

Ricciardo, who will be returning home to Perth, said: “I will be looking at the ceiling of a hotel room for two weeks. So I’ll go home. I need, I need to come home. But it’s difficult, it’s difficult to come back. Yes, unfortunately they don’t make it easy, but that’s how it is. And I will do it. I need, I need to come home, see family, friends.

“So once I get out of the Four Walls, I should still have, hopefully, three or four weeks with my friends and family. And it’s summer, so something to look forward to.

Quote of the day

You have to eat an elephant bite by bite. Elephant, F1, looks very similar to me.

– Nikita Mazepin from Haas came up with this line when asked what was the biggest lesson he learned this year.

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