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F1: Max Verstappen is the title favourite but things can change for Lewis Hamilton, Alonso says

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen is the current favourite to win the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship title over Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso says.

The Dutch driver leads Mercedes’ seven-time world champion by 18 points going into this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix having won three of the last four races.

Verstappen is fighting for his first Drivers’ Championship title and will be looking to extend his lead in Austria this weekend. Alonso feels Red Bull are the current favourites owing to their recent upturn in performance but admits things can quickly change.

“Favourite at the moment probably is Max because he is performing better,” Alpine driver Alonso said, as quoted on BBC Sport. “Things can change quickly depending on the performance of the teams and the updates to the car etc.”

Hamilton, however, is not giving up in his quest for an eighth world title. The Briton acknowledged Red Bull’s superiority in the last four races which the Austrian team have won, but made it clear that they are still in the fight with more than half the season still remaining.

“They [Red Bull] have done a great job in these last four races,” Hamilton said. “However, they have taken a step ahead of us and we are just working as hard as we can to see if there’s a way we can close that gap. We are not even half way through the season so we are still fighting and chasing for this title.”

Meanwhile, Alonso, who returned to F1 after a two year hiatus feels it’s great to see drivers from two different teams battling for the title. The predictability of F1 was one of the reasons the Spaniard left the sport to seek a new challenge.

“It is very interesting from the outside to follow and watch,” the Spaniard said. “At least we don’t have like previous years that it was Lewis against Lewis and sometimes Valtteri [Bottas] but not often.”

“We have a more interesting championship so we can follow with a little more adrenaline until Abu Dhabi. That’s a good thing.”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was a winner in Austria last year
William WEST/AFP
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