Alain Prost feels there is added motivation for Max Verstappen to win a first World Championship as he does “not know” if he’ll have another opportunity.
Lewis Hamilton, already with seven titles to his name, knows there’s a chance he’ll be fighting for more tiles in the future.
Verstappen and Hamilton are locked in a fierce battle for this year’s Drivers’ Championship title, the two separated by eight points with two races remaining.
That means there are 52 points still to play for with the protagonists having finished first and second in the last four successive races.
Should that trend of 1-2 results continue, a win for Verstappen at the next race in Saudi Arabia, even if Hamilton takes the fastest lap point, would mean he only needs to be third in Abu Dhabi to wrap up the title no matter what Hamilton.
But a win and fastest lap point for Hamilton in Saudi Arabia would have the two heading to the final race of the season tied on points but with Verstappen ahead by virtue of more wins.
It could be decided on the final lap, or even the final corner, of the season.
Onboard with @Max33Verstappen for the lap that earned him a crucial bonus point – and the DHL Fastest Lap Award in Qatar 🚀🏆
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 23, 2021
“I could ask myself the same question without having the right answer,” four-time World Champion Prost told the ‘In The Fast Lane’ podcast.
“First of all, the driver is always a combination of the car and the team behind.
“Lewis has much more experience and much more experience in knowing how to win a championship, or lose the championship because he has lost before.
“On the other side, Max was really young and very fast and generous and doing a few mistakes in the last few years. Now he is doing much, much less and is much, much stronger than before. He is at a similar level as Lewis.
“You want to win the first championship because you do not know if you’re going to have a second chance.
“And for Lewis, he is going for the record, it is the motivation that Lewis in fact needed and it is the best for the sport. It is the for Formula 1.
“It is very difficult to judge the two, what they are doing is exceptional and I hope it goes to the last race in Abu Dhabi to decide the final result.”
But while the Frenchman insisted he does “not have a favourite”, he’d like to see Verstappen win it.
“I think it will be really great if Max could get the title, because he’s a young guy, and he really deserves it for what he has done since the beginning,” Prost continued.
“But also on the other side, what Lewis is doing at the moment, already having seven championships, is also exceptional. Let’s see what happens.”
Verstappen vs Hamilton, how close the title battle really is
The World Championship battle is closer than ever as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton look ahead to the final two races of the season.