Man City star Erling Haaland brutally snubs Max Verstappen as he names favourite F1 driver | F1 | Sport


Verstappen snatched his maiden F1 world title from Hamilton’s clutches on the final lap in Abu Dhabi in 2021 following a safety car controversy and hasn’t looked back clinching a further two more crowns, while the Brit and Mercedes haven’t looked the same since. Hamilton’s seven world titles have kept him in good standing with Haaland, though, who is a titan in his sport.

“[Lewis] Hamilton,” Haaland responded when asked by beIN Sports to name his favourite driver on the grid. Hamilton is the most successful driver on the grid despite his current woes, boasting 103 race wins and qualified P1 an incredible 104 times.

He will, however, leave the Silver Arrows following the 2024 season’s conclusion and head to Ferrari, where he will look to reclaim F1’s top spot off his Dutch rival. The 39-year-old will drive alongside Charles Leclerc, with Carlos Sainz making way. The form of Sainz and Hamilton is an interesting talking point, though, with the Spaniard finishing third in the season opener in Bahrain. Whereas Hamilton was seventh and then ninth in Saudi Arabia, as Sainz missed out due to having surgery for appendicitis.

Sainz’s next landing spot is unclear at this point but he won’t be short of options, with the aftermath of 2024 expected to be hectic with driver changes. Hamilton, who will drive for Ferrari at Sainz’s expense, is looking forward to wearing and driving in red. “In the summer we signed, and obviously I, at that time, saw my future with Mercedes,” he explained.

“But an opportunity came up in the new year and I decided to take it. I feel like… it was obviously the hardest decision that I think I’ve ever had to make. Obviously, I’ve been with Mercedes for, I think it’s like 26 years they’ve supported me, and we’ve had an absolutely incredible journey together. We’ve created history within the sport, and it’s something I take a lot of pride in and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved. But I think ultimately I’m writing my story and I felt like it was time to start a new chapter.”

Hamilton hasn’t managed to beat his Mercedes teammate George Russell this season, though, but he will be hoping Melbourne, Australia, bears better results next weekend. F1 heads Down Under with practice sessions taking place on Friday, followed by qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday.

The Silver Arrows are planning to use the Australian Grand Prix weekend as a time to experiment. “There’s a lot of work going on within the aerodynamics department, vehicle dynamics department. We’re trying to design some experiments there that will hopefully give us a direction that’s good for performance,” engineering director Andrew Shovlin said.

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