FORMULA ONE is set for a thrilling climax to an unforgettable season as Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen battle it out for glory.
Verstappen currently leads the championship by eight points and can clinch the title – his first – should he outscore Hamilton by 18 points on Sunday at the Saudi Arabian GP.
The Middle Eastern country is hosting its inaugural race in Jeddah on a rapidly-constructed 6km circuit that promises to be one of the fastest on the calendar.
In fact, it is so new, building work is still going on as they try to get as much completed in time for Sunday’s showdown.
But not only is this track quick, despite having nearly 30 corners, it is also a street circuit – like Monaco and Singapore.
And that means it could also spell double-jeopardy for F1’s title contenders, as a high-speed dirty track bordered by concrete crash barriers all make things rather tricky.
As he’s eight points behind, Hamilton simply cannot afford to not finish this race to take his title defence to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi next weekend.
Despite the enormity of the task, which has seen him slice into Verstappen’s 19-point lead, Hamilton has remained remarkably cool in the build up to this week’s race.
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He spoke to SunSport on Tuesday and said that while he would naturally love to win an eighth world title – moving clear of the joint-record he currently holds with Michael Schumacher, he is relaxed about the prospect.
In the Red Bull camp, Verstappen is fighting for his first ever title in single-seaters – an incredible statistic to think he’s not won a title before.
His last championship win came in 2013 in karting, when he was just 15-years old.
That said, he too is looking remarkably relaxed given the huge prize at stake.
It is all delicately poised to be a great finale which we all hope will be sorted out and decided on track – rather than the stewards’ room – as has been the case in the Brazilian and Qatar GPs before this one.
The high-speed, danger and what’s at risk factor makes this weekend’s race exciting.
Read our live blog for the Saudi Arabian GP to keep up with all the latest updates from practice, qualifying and Sunday’s race
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Source: Motorsport - thesun.co.uk