In the past, Lewis Hamilton often carried a special place in his heart for street races and would look even more dominant than other typical racing circuits. However, this season has seen a different trend with the defending world champion. Street races haven’t treated Hamilton well and rather favored his rival, Max Verstappen more.
The stats say it too! While Hamilton only managed to secure P7 in Monaco, the result was much worse in Baku, as the Mercedes driver saw the chequered flag in a distant P15.
Hence, amidst fear over the dominant Mercedes rear-wing, Red Bull F1 advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko, is certain that Hamilton’s poor run with street circuits might as well continue in Saudi Arabia.
Marko hoping Saudi Arabia favors Max Verstappen
Speaking to RTL, Marko doesn’t seem as anxious about the Mercedes W12, as he reckoned Jeddah could easily breach Hamilton‘s weakness.
“We don’t see it that way,” he said. “It’s a street circuit. If Hamilton has weaknesses, then he has them on the street circuit. He was not at the front in Monte Carlo, nor was he a front runner in Baku. I hope this trend continues.”
Meanwhile, Verstappen has enjoyed a brilliant outing around street circuits. Of course, Baku did not end the way he would have wanted to amid the suspicious tire blow-out. Nevertheless, the Dutchman was in top form through both the Monaco GP and the Azerbaijan GP.
We go into the race with the intention of winning: Marko
The Austrian clarified that he doesn’t care about the theories surrounding which car could dominate more around a specific circuit. Instead, his top-most priority is to win the race, and this very much remains the case over the upcoming Saudi Arabian GP as well.
“We go into the race with the intention of winning. All these prognoses, this is the Mercedes track or the Red Bull track – we have often been taught otherwise. The form on the day has to fit, everything has to fit, then it’s the little things who decide,” he said.
Overall, too much at stake for Mercedes and Red Bull, and both Hamilton and Verstappen will be eyeing a clean race for starters. But, are there any twists and turns in store for the unpredictable inaugural race in Jeddah?