Who will ace the daunting challenge of Spa-Franchorchamps?

Should he clinch another podium, Hamilton would place himself on a different pedestal altogether, reaching an elevated status where no driver previously has set foot.

Dev Tyagi Author

Updated - 25 August 2021 10:45 pm

With the Japanese and Singapore Grand Prix already cancelled and there being no more than ten races remaining on the calendar, it could be said, the F1 world championship is already hanging on the knife’s edge.

And it’s only the halfway stage that we have witnessed.

That said, the current firmament of Formula 1 is riddled by one question and one question alone.

Who will prevail at Spa-Francorchamps bound Belgian Grand Prix?

The battle lines drawn and the visors soon to come down, whilst all will await the race outcome at Spa, remember there’ll only be one smiling face on top of the podium with the other watching with a frown.

In what has thus far been a quiet month, one wonders, whether Sir Lewis Hamilton can ensure a very pleasant English August?

After all, history beckons the greatest driver of the current grid, as also it’s most successful one.

How?

No other driver, besides the legendary Michael Schuamcher has gone on to achieve what Lewis Hamilton has at a track that’s as breathtakingly beautiful as it’s daunting in its challenge asked of the drivers: Spa Francorchamps.

With 9 Formula 1 podiums in the midst of the serene Ardennes Mountains, Hamilton has ensured the prevalence of the ‘Hammetime.’

Should he clinch another podium, Hamilton would place himself on a different pedestal altogether, reaching an elevated status where no driver previously has set foot: 10 Grand Prix podiums at a daunting circuit, a track one cannot imagine the modern conception of Formula 1 without.

Moreover, should the Mercedes driver’s tenth podium yield a race win it’ll do two things and do those incredibly so.

1) It’ll ensure Lewis Hamilton keeps the nose out in front in both the Driver and the Constructor world championships.

2) Another Mercedes and Hamilton win, which would be the fifth this year, would render further dent to Red Bull’s confidence of striking back in the world championship.

But make no mistake. All of this is in the realm of conjecture. None of the above has happened for real; it’s still, pretty much, all perfectly imagined from a Mercedes point of view.

What can happen – and might as well happen- is the fact that Max Verstappen could announce a smashing comeback into taking hold of the current championship by way of a thumping victory at a track where there’ll be an assembly of the famed Orange Army!

Verstappen’s got the desperate need and the motivation, stemming from accident-marred previous race results, to fashion a blazing win.

If there’s one driver on the grid, who is desperately vying to comeback and get the ‘job done,’ then it’s the Hasselt, Belgium-born racing driver.

Forget not the fact that there is also the extra bit of motivation to perform well in front of what’s technically his home crowd, if one were to think of it.

So what we have in front of us are 43 exciting, hopefully action-packed laps where two of the best Formula 1 drivers will embroil in a bid for ascendency on the track.

One of them, already a grand world champion whilst the other, the pretender to the throne!

And in midst of all of this, forget not that the likes of Ferrari’s Leclerc, the 2019 Spa winner and McLaren’s Lando Norris, who’ll also be competing in what’s technically his home race, will play the wild card.

They’ll be keen to maximize on any mistake F1’s most famous duo end up making.

And while it’s Lewis Hamilton, currently eyeing a fifth win at the Belgian Grand Prix, the bid to be crowned the King of Spa will largely boil down to who will excel at the 7-km track, which is actually the longest circuit anywhere on the current F1 calendar.

In the past, Kimi Raikkonen, by winning the Belgian GP on four separate occasions, marked himself the King of Spa, essaying quintessential Ice coolness, then came the chance of Lewis, a winner in 2017, 2018, 2020, where recent events are concerned.

But can it be Max Verstappen on the top step of the podium this time around in 2021?

The extra bit of motivation for Mad Max, if needed is that, of his fifteen race wins, none have come here in the heart of Belgium.

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