Hamilton “went into overdrive” in the F1 title fight

The Mercedes driver clinched victory at the Russian GP at the end of September before failing to win the next three events. Championship rival Max Verstappen increased his lead in the table to 19 points.

But after installing a new engine at the Brazilian GP, ​​Hamilton took an excellent win despite having started from 10th on the grid after a penalty.

The seven-time champion then dominated the following race in Qatar and reduced the gap on Verstappen to just eight points before the last two races in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.

Brundle says that shifting up a gear in the second half of the season has always been a Hamilton trait, and that both he and his Mercedes team have done so again this year.

“It’s almost like he’s gone into overdrive,” Brundle told select media, including Motorsport.com. “He did that after the summer break and people just couldn’t see which way he was going when he won his Mercedes title.

“And I think he did the same thing again, probably a little later in the day, and Mercedes did the same thing as Lewis.

“And all of a sudden you wonder if he is not now the favorite for the championship with this dynamic.

“But it just takes some kind of trip hazard, reliability, contact, puncture, whatever, and Max can take the title next weekend. Probably won’t, but could.

“So it’s so well balanced. And I think the ups and downs of the season are what Red Bull are really hoping for.”

Hamilton drove an older engine in Qatar, but will again have the more powerful engine that he used in Brazil at the first Saudi Arabia Grand Prix this weekend.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1st place, arrives at Parc Ferme

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Even so, Brundle doesn’t think the Briton will be able to dominate the way he did in Qatar, but he does expect Mercedes to be the team to beat them again.

“No, I don’t,” said Brundle when asked if he expected Hamilton to dominate this weekend. “Because I think they used that engine hard, you know, and Mercedes had what they call what they call degradation of their engines.

“Red Bull seemed to have a rear wing that worked incredibly well on some tracks and not on others, and they look a bit two-dimensional in that regard.

“I know there are eight points and the points mean everything. But who would you bet your money on? I mean, it’s literally the only incident that can change it, but I don’t think they’re going to be as dominant as Brazil, but I still think that in Saudi Arabia there will be the car that will beat it is applicable.”

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The season finale in Abu Dhabi, which Verstappen won last year, will take place on a revamped layout due to changes to improve the show, and Brundle expects the tweaks will benefit the characteristics of Hamilton’s car.

“That has changed dramatically,” he said of Abu Dhabi. “Red Bull dominated there last year, but you have to keep in mind that Lewis was still recovering from COVID and wasn’t in top form at all. And Max was ahead.

“The track has changed a lot, it’s a lot faster, it’s about 11 seconds faster per lap.

“When it comes to high-speed, high-speed or high-speed lines, the Mercedes seems to have the upper hand.

“So I’m sure that Mercedes is pretty confident there on the next two tracks.”

Watch the Saudi Arabia GP live, only on Sky Sports F1 in the UK on Sunday 5th December.

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