Prost: Hamilton/Verstappen battle ‘exceptional’ for F1


Alain Prost believes that both Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been “exceptional” in the battle for the 2021 title, and feels that it is difficult to say who has been the stronger driver.

The fight for the World Championship has played out throughout the year and now looks set to continue into the final two races of the season, with Hamilton having cut Verstappen’s lead at the top of the standings to just eight points following the Qatar Grand Prix.

Prost thinks that the battle has been good for F1, and hopes to see the championship go down to the wire at the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

“It is the best for the sport. It is the best for Formula 1,” Prost told the In The Fast Lane podcast.

“[It is] very difficult to judge the two. What they are doing this year is exceptional. It’s exceptional for our sport, and I hope we can go until the last race in Abu Dhabi to see the final result.

“I do not have a favourite.”

Who has been stronger?

Prost finds it hard to select whether he thinks Hamilton or Verstappen has performed the best in 2021, given the different circumstances of each driver in the championship fight.

“First of all, the driver is always a combination of the car and the team behind,” Prost explained.

“Lewis has much more experience [of] knowing how to win a championship, or lose the championship because he has lost for one point, I think, at McLaren [in 2007].

“But on the other side, Max was very young and very fast, and generous [with] doing a few mistakes, in the last few years. Now he’s doing much, much less [mistakes]. He’s much stronger than before. He’s at a similar level [to] Lewis.

“[For Verstappen], you want to win the first championship because you don’t know if you’re going to have a second chance. And for Lewis, he would be the only one on record [to win an eighth title].

“[The battle with Verstappen] is the motivation, in fact, that Lewis needed to achieve what he wants to achieve.”

“Really great” if Verstappen won

Whilst Prost says he does not have a “favourite” between the title contenders, he thinks that it would be “great” for Verstappen to win his first F1 World Championship, though also believes that Hamilton is deserving of an eighth title.

“I think it would be really great if Max could be the World Champion, because he’s a young guy, and he really deserves [it from] what he has done since the beginning,” Prost said.

“But also on the other side, what Lewis is doing at the moment, having already [won] seven championships, is also exceptional.

“So I would say, let’s see what happens. I would not want to say [who will win].”

Does Lewis Hamilton’s recent run of form against Max Verstappen now make him the favourite to claim the title? F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discuss this and more in the latest episode of the RacingNews365 podcast!



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