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AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 24: Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing and second placed Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP celebrate on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 24, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

View From The Nerds: Our Finale Predictions

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21 races. 5000km. All tied at 369.5 points. The season of the decade is drawing to a close in Abu Dhabi and everything is still to play for. Now it’s time for a view from the nerds!

With so many predictions and controversies floating around the paddock, we thought it was about time we gave our view! Below, we hear from every member of the Nerds team as we each give our prediction on who will come out on top in Abu Dhabi!

The countdown to lights out has begun!


Bridge

In my opinion, contact between Lewis and Max is almost inevitable. If it doesn’t happen on the run down to turn one, I can see the two colliding when heading into the two big breaking zones in turns 6 and 9. The difference in tyre strategies will also mean that there is race-long drama – which is what this season finale deserves!

Max Verstappen has done everything he can do up to this point and deserves to win this title. Lewis’ effort in these last four races has been commendable and ultimately it will be this momentum that carries him to his eighth title tomorrow afternoon – unless Max decides to risk it all…


Oli 

This is the race of a generation. Based on the season we have had every indication is that it will be a titanic fight to the chequered flag. The race and subsequently the championship will be won or lost through contact between Max and Lewis. Whether this is intentional or not will become irrelevant. Max Verstappen has shown us all year why he deserves to be the world champion, however, I think the years of experience and ability to manage pressure when counts, will crown Lewis as 8x world champion.


Catherine

I think that Verstappen and Hamilton will crash, with Verstappen receiving a penalty and Hamilton having problems with a car causing a long pit stop, Verstappen manages to recover from the penalty, Hamilton manages to finish the race, but none of them wins the race. Maybe a fifth and sixth finish.

For me Verstappen is both deserved and actual champion, he has matured a lot since he first came into F1 and despite some crashes and things that maybe he should not have done, I still believe that he was professional throughout the season and has put Red Bull forward and put it on top.


Leah

I think that there will be quite a few yellow flags and therefore Max and Lewis won’t be able to race as much as they or we want them to and will leave it till the last few laps to see who will win the race. I want Hamilton to win to set a new world record of 8 title championships and with him being British. He’s also not got that long left in F1 so will be an amazing stat to go out to. However, Max 100% deserves it after the way he’s driven this season. They have both come so close so let’s see who will be crowned in Abu Dhabi!


Abby

I think that there’ll be quite a few yellows flags especially since the track is faster than previous years. I want to see clean racing between Hamilton and Verstappen but with yellow flags, there’ll be less than what fans want. I think there’ll be at least one collision between the two where they’ll go into a corner and Verstappen will go up the inside too fast and force Hamilton wide like he’s done 5 times this season – it is possible as it’s his driving style.

As a Brit and Hamilton fan, I would like to see Hamilton win and get his 8th title, especially since he has less time in F1 left than Verstappen. However, Verstappen has driven immensely well this year, despite his sometimes questionable tactics, so does deserve a world championship.
If the race is clean and without unexpected reliability issues, I think Hamilton will win as he’s fastest on the track but otherwise it’s pure speculation.

I would actually like Bottas to be second or win with Hamilton behind, as he did with Ocon, for his final race in a Mercedes.


Andy

We could end up with a Senna v Prost Situation where Max takes Lewis out in the first Corner, Tensions are high, Who knows what could happen!!

Where it will be won or lost, with both Lewis and Max being so close all season, battles on and off the track between drivers and teams, Could this season all come down to a poor team strategy, A pit stop mistake or Toto and Christian have a punch up During the race!!!

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I’m a fan of F1 overall and this season’s Lewis V Max Battles have made this one of the most exciting seasons for a long while. Who Deserves it, Hand on Heart…..Lewis. He has given it his all but who will win it……..Who knows! I’m on the fence, Just hoping for a legendary race to complete a Legendary season!


Samuel

I think there will be a couple of hairy moments – on the first lap and around the stops. I’m calling minimal contact at least once but they’ll both keep it on the road. Or pointing in the right direction, at least.

Strategy is ultimately where we will see it won and lost – I think we’ll see an undercut to change positions. I think whoever is behind after the first stops will change to a two-stopper and track the other down. Overtaking move in the final couple of laps to take the title, but the strategy will be king. Maybe this is just a wish list of what will happen!

My heart of hearts says the experience will shine through and Lewis will take it. Ignoring what happened in Saudi Arabia, on balance, Max deserves it through sheer consistency. But I do think how ruthless Lewis can be has been underestimated. He has an extra gear to draw up when he needs it. And that’s the difference.


Grace

I think there is a potential for drama in a senna/prost esque situation but with the pressure of the weekend I can imagine neither driver wanting to be the one to blame with the threat of points etc

The race will be won from one of two places 1) if it’s a fairly uneventful race it’ll be whoever gets the tyre changes and strategies correct with Button thinking it’ll be a two stopper could someone risk a one stopper or 2) if there’s yellow flags, safety cars or red flags – who benefits from that the most – could be all down to luck

Either driver could win it and I think both drivers deserve it. If you asked me this question on September I would have wholeheartedly said, Max. After he crushed it in Austria and destroyed the competition in Zandvoort I was convinced Max had won it but with Lewis’s comeback drives he has so much momentum. Each of them has dominated and they both truly deserve it. As a British f1 fan I’ll be happy for Lewis but as a Max fan I’ll be happy for Max.


Lena

It will definitely be dramatic – Netflix couldn’t have scripted the last race any better. With everything still possible, both drivers will be pushed to their limits. Of course, nobody wants to be responsible for a crash. We all have the threat of the possible deduction of points of the FIA in front of us. Nevertheless, there will definitely be difficult moments between them. I could even imagine that we won’t be able to see who will win until the last lap or even the final corners.

The strategies will be the decisive factors. Two stoppers will even be possible – depending on how many yellow or even red flags we will see. The two wingmen could also play a role, as before, depending on how they do after the start.

Both drivers are capable of winning this race and the championship. Lewis’ comeback in the last few races has been incredible, but Max’s performance has also been remarkable throughout the season. As a Red Bull fan, I wish for Max to make it, but both drivers deserve it.


Dalila

Mercedes has been showing some problems with reliability in 2021 and Abu Dhabi’s level might serve them some problems. On another note, Pirelli isn’t fully happy with the curbs, even after they have been rounded. Drivers will have to be careful with their driving.

It will be won through strategy. Max and Lewis will start the race on different compounds, hence nailing the tyre’s management and choices will be crucial. The start will also be the key and I hope to see some clean but on the limit racing.

Both drivers had some amazing races during the season and the mental strength shown has been incredible. On the driving side, this year I preferred Max Verstappen because I think his level through the season has been more consistent. His qualifying pace really made some astonishing progress as well. However, Hamilton’s last part of the season is the reason why he was able to remain in the battle for the title and why he’s a 7-times world champion. Although my preference is clear, we have been lucky to watch this incredible season being fought between two brilliant drivers so may the best man win!


That’s all from us! Now we want to hear your view! Comment down below or head over to any of our FormulaNerds social media accounts to let us know what you think will happen during the race of the decade!

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