Lewis Hamilton has been installed as the clear favorite to win a sixth F1 Drivers’ Championship next year after dazzling with his brilliance in 2018. The Mercedes driver is now level with Juan Manuel Fangio as the second most successful driver of all time, with five titles apiece. He has now left Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel in his rear-view mirror and only Michael Schumacher is ahead of him in the all-time stakes with seven triumphs. Hamilton could cut that lead to just one next year and it is hard to see anyone stopping him from pulling it off.
Lewis Hamilton Clear Favourite For 2019 Formula 1 Title
Most bookmakers have the Brit as the odds-on favorite to win the 2019 Drivers’ Championship, although some will go out to even money. His closest rival, Sebastian Vettel, is priced at 7/2, while the ever-improving Max Verstappen is 5/1, while Ferrari new boy Charles Leclerc is 10/1, Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas is 16/1 and Red Bull newcomer Pierre Gasly is 33/1. If that means nothing to you, a handy guide will help you learn to bet on sports. But it essentially means the expert odds compilers think Hamilton has a great chance of success and his rivals are all clear underdogs.
If the Brit continues to display the consistency he showed throughout 2018, he will take some stopping next year. He will be at the peak of his powers, and he will continue driving with speed and confidence in an extremely powerful car. Bottas could be resurgent and no longer content to play a supporting role, but in reality, it could take an error-free campaign from Ferrari to oust him as the champion. In Vettel and Leclerc, the Italian team has two drivers that can take the fight to him, but Hamilton certainly deserves his favorite tag on current form.
The Main Challengers
However, 2019 will be full of intrigue across the board. It will be fascinating to see who comes out on top out of Vettel and Leclerc, the 21-year-old wunderkind who was just crowned Rookie of the Year. They have been complimentary about one another, but how long will it take until the gloves come off? Vettel’s extra experience should mean he picks up more points than the young Frenchman, but Leclerc is an exciting talent and that relationship looks fascinating.
Red Bull-Honda could benefit from a tweaked set of aero regulations and Verstappen will be a force to be reckoned with. The Dutchman is a virtuoso behind the wheel and he could well pick up five or more victories over the course of the season. It will be a transitional year for Daniel Ricciardo at Renault, but we could well see him on the podium a couple of times, although it might be a while before he takes the chequered flag and drinks out of his shoe again.
Vettel thinks he can take the fight to Hamilton once again next year and if he ends up seizing the Drivers’ Championship he will move level with his great rival on five titles, so there is much at stake. “We had our races where we were very close and very competitive, and overall our car this year has been more an all-around car which worked on all tracks,” he said.
There will be plenty of threats to Hamilton’s crown, and he acknowledges the potential of Verstappen, but he too thinks Vettel represents the greatest danger. “I would imagine it’s going to be Sebastian,” he said, before finally adding: “And Valtteri alongside me.” Hamilton is certainly the man to beat, but nothing is certain in 2019 and if he is to win a sixth title he will need to see off an extremely talented bunch of experienced drivers and exciting youngsters, so it should prove to be a really exhilarating year in F1.