The hotly anticipated Formula 1 duel between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen this season hasn’t exactly gone to plan for the Dutchman Verstappen, and former F1 driver turned pundit, Marc Gené, pulls no punches.
The commentator for Sky Sports Italy and winner of the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans, Marc Gené, has given the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport his prediction on how the battle at the top will go on.
“Hamilton will win the world championship. I like the season because finally we see how strong he is. Verstappen has been less perfect so far, and in a world championship that we hope will be played out on details, I think Lewis will manage the details better.”
Perhaps buoyed by recent Mercedes form, backed up with yet more wins for Hamilton, the Spanish pundit see’s Mercedes quickly fix the problems they initially had at the start of this year’s F1 season.
“In Bahrain, Mercedes were worried. They were struggling with the rear end, but now they have found what was missing.
“At Imola and Portimao Mercedes was as strong as Red Bull. From here on it will be to see which of the two will adapt better circuit by circuit. Montmelò [Barcelona circuit] will be the most indicative, because the track is demanding.”
So it’s a two-way battle for the championship – in the hope that Red Bull and Sergio Perez can raise their game and put themselves in a decent challenge to Valtteri Bottas because let’s face it, Verstappen and Red Bull are not looking likely to keep up a consistent season long challenge.
For third place in 2021, however, it’s a fight between McLaren and the Ferrari team, which Gené has represented for years:
“Ferrari doesn’t have a declared objective of finishing third, it will be very difficult to do so. It would be like a victory. It’s a personal opinion, I’m always optimistic and I think it’s the maximum you can aim for.”
Qualifying starts at 2pm BST today in Barcelona.