Martin Brundle has never ‘experienced such intensity’ in F1 amid heated title battle

Lewis Hamilton goes undercover to inspire school children

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F1 commentator Martin Brundle has admitted he has never ‘experienced such intensity’ in a title battle before as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s world championship tussle is set to go down to the wire. The 2021 F1 season has been one of the greatest years in the sport’s modern history thanks to the titanic world championship battle between Mercedes’ Hamilton and Red Bull’s Verstappen.

The Brit comfortably took the chequered flag in Qatar to follow up his remarkable win in Brazil, narrowing the gap between himself and the Dutchman atop the Drivers’ Championship standings to just eight points with two races left.

Mercedes took a five-place grid penalty at Interlagos to implement a new engine, and Hamilton – boosted by the speed advantage – had one of his great drives to climb from P10 to take the win, having also been disqualified from qualifying.

Hamilton then romped to a comfortable win in Qatar on Sunday while Verstappen impressively climbed from P7 to second, but he couldn’t catch his adversary and the result never appeared in doubt.

There have been numerous off-track disputes, from teams appealing for penalties – or lack of them – to threatening to protest the legality of the opposition’s car. 

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And Sky F1 reporter Brundle believes that while F1 has witnessed some incredible championship battles in the past, this is the most heated and intense title race he has ever experienced. 

“I’ve not experienced such intensity before,” the 62-year-old wrote in his column for Sky Sports

“This is a season which is unfolding on a swathe of contrary opinions, camera angles, images, data, information, misinformation, social media posts, and not a little bitterness and mistrust. 

“It felt more like a movie than a motor race on Sunday.”

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He then admitted that both Hamilton and Verstappen are in a league of their own, with the pair responsible for 16 race wins in 2021.

However, Brundle believes the seven-time world champion has the advantage heading into the final two races in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi – two tracks that may favour Mercedes’ straight-line speed.

The reporter believes it is the Brit’s dedication and incredible motivation to secure an eighth championship that gives him the edge. 

“Under the floodlights of Qatar, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen appeared to be in a different category of racing such was their relentless pace out front in pursuit of critical world championship points,” Brundle added. 

“Those two drivers remarkably appear to be the calmest members of their team from time to time.

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“There can be no doubt that Hamilton and Mercedes have raised their game at a pivotal point of the championship. 

“Lewis has found renewed trust in the factory simulator and works late into the night at the track as he impressively finds new motivation for an eighth title despite his relative age, trophy warehouse, and significant bank balance.”

Formula 1 travels to the Jeddah Corniche Circuit for the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on December 5, with Red Bull star Verstappen holding an eight-point lead over Mercedes’ Hamilton.

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