Tuesday 10 September 2019

Leclerc and Verstappen are the Future of F1, by Nancy Miles

Let's all be frank – Formula 1 has turned boring in the past few years. Mercedes' dominance is great news for fans of the German manufacturer, but to be honest, its superiority has made F1 stale. There's obviously need for changes in order to make the championship more competitive. Sure, Michael Schumacher was dominant in the past with Ferrari, but now with five consecutive title doubles Mercedes is surpassing even that run. On the positive side of things, at least we've been blessed with the brightest young stars the championship has seen in over a decade – Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc.

Photo: Octane Photography
Verstappen, a Red Bull driver who won the Austrian and German Grands Prix recently, has been brimming with potential for a few years. Racing is in the 21-year-old Dutch driver's veins – he's the son of former F1 pilot Jos Verstappen. The youngest driver to compete in F1, Max Verstappen has been growing with each race and season. He's also the youngest race winner after claiming the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix when he was only 18.

With a pair of Austrian Grand Prix wins and a total of seven firsts in F1, Verstappen's odds at bookies have been constantly on the rise. Sure, his odds don't make him a major favourite for the title, but he's among the top four or five drivers. Verstappen may be lagging behind Lewis Hamilton, but is a much better option from a punter's point of view. Hamilton's odds are not very exciting @ 1/100, but Verstappen's (33/1), Sebastian Vettel's (150/1), and Leclerc's (175/1) look much better.

The list of top five favourites at the best online bookies in the UK also includes Valtteri Bottas who comes behind Hamilton @ 25/1. Outside of these five drivers, the odds are significantly shorter for others. Pierre Gasly and Daniel Ricciardo are major underdogs at 4000/1 just like Robert Kubica. You can also bet on other markets such as race winner and podium finish which may even be more appealing than betting on the outright favourites.

Photo: Octane Photography
Apart from Verstappen, there's another young driver making the headlines this year – Leclerc. Ferrari's decision to sign the young Sauber prospect raised the eyebrows of many experts, yet it seems that their gamble is already paying off. A 21-year-old former GP3 Series and Formula 2 champion, Leclerc is widely regarded as the most talented driver currently in the championship.

Leclerc's talent is there and it's a matter of time before he realises it. The Monagesque driver was pretty close to win the Austrian Grand Prix, leading the race until two laps from the end when he was overtaken by Verstappen. Although he was disappointed not to record his maiden F1 win, experts were adamant it would come sooner or later.

The controversial Austrian Grand Prix might have ended badly for Leclerc, but it gave us an insight into Formula 1's future. Hamilton and Vettel might be the biggest stars right now, but in a few years or so, the top two drivers fighting fiercely for the title will most likely be Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc. Both are on the right teams and both have the quality to win several titles. The battle between the two bright young stars at the Austrian Grand Prix has made an already stale season all the more interesting. If you're a casual F1 fan, you'll surely be more excited about the rivalry between these two drivers than what's going on at the top.

And, that can only be a good thing. Both Verstappen and Leclerc are hungry for wins and titles and will do anything to prove themselves on the big stage. We've never seen such new talent in the championship since the early days of Hamilton and Vettel. Sure, there were many drivers that fit the profile of a future champion, yet no one came even close to these two.

There's no doubt that Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc are the future of F1. Things just got more exciting in the F1 championship, so don't miss out on the action.

Odds quoted in this article are accurate at the time of writing

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