Coming off a three-race winning streak, Max Verstappen now sits comfortably on top of the Formula One leaderboard.
The Flying Dutchman, boosted no end by improvements on his RB16B, has been out racing everyone, including the defending champ, Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen has now won five out of nine races so far, while in the Constructors standings Red Bull has a commanding lead over Mercedes (286-242).
Max leads Hamilton by 32 points in the Drivers standings halfway into the 2021 season. Should he keep his form, Max could be the first Dutch champion in Formula 1.
Red Bull was dominant at the A-1 ring as Verstappen took hold of the lead from the start and was never challenged. Max even got the coveted grand slam (pole, race win and fastest lap time), while all his rivals were left sniffing at the fumes of the #33 RBR.
Even after two pitstops, Verstappen crossed the line with a comfortable gap of 17 seconds to second placer Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris.
Max was simply untouchable in Austria.
News came out last week that Mercedes is now focusing on their 2022 challenger, thus improvements for the 2021 car will be limited. This could be true, or a just cop-out for their lack of pace and reliability. But whatever the true reason is, Mercedes will lose their hold of both titles if they don’t start taking points off Red Bull.
With 14 races left on the modified calendar, there is enough time for Mercedes and Hamilton to recover lost ground in the title chase, a maximum 350 points (race wins) are still up for grabs, with an additional 14 points for fastest lap times. But if the current trend continues, Max might be crowned champion as early as Austin or Mexico.
Betting against The Flying Dutchman winning it all, is ill-advised.