Martin Brundle, ex-F1 driver turned Sky Sports pundit, has offered his assessment on the respective support acts at Mercedes and Red Bull.
Even though Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez are not in contention for personal title glory themselves, they still have a big part to play in deciding which trophy cabinet will be filled up come the end of the season.
A mere eight points separate World Championship leader Max Verstappen and rival Lewis Hamilton, while an even smaller margin of five points exists between Mercedes and Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship.
While much has been made of Perez’s second-half improvement in form at Red Bull, Brundle believes it is actually going to be Bottas who has the bigger opportunity to disrupt the rival team at Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
“I honestly think it’s possible Valtteri could finish in front of Max more than Sergio could finish in front of Lewis,” Brundle told selected media, as quoted by Autosport.
“So I think that might just play into the title. One of these last two races, it’s just possible Valtteri will take some points of Max somewhere.
“And I don’t see Sergio taking points off Lewis.
“There are 88 points on the table still for the Constructors. So another one that could go either way.
“It just depends on… I don’t know if the Mercedes really flies and Valtteri has one of his on days like in Istanbul, for example, or the sprint race in Brazil.”
Two races to go in 2021. And the final two races as team-mates for Lewis and VB 💜💙 Let's bring these titles home, Team! 👊 pic.twitter.com/WEXWNR6gY7
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 30, 2021
In the Drivers’ World Championship battle, many will have picked which driver they would like to see lift the trophy over the course of the final two rounds, but Brundle is of the opinion that Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton both deserve the silverware this season.
“It kind of feels like, season long, Max has had the best season so far, if you look at the numbers,” Brundle added.
“I think either of them deserve it, but it just feels as if it’s been Max’s to lose, through bad luck or bad judgment or whatever. That’s how the season feels to me.”