In The Driver's Seat: F1 world title is Verstappen's to lose

Max Verstappen holds his trophy in Spielberg, Austria, on June 27, 2021.PHOTO: AFP

When Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton by just under three seconds in the recent French Grand Prix it came as a shock that the Red Bull team could beat Mercedes on an "old school" race track rather than just on street circuits such as Monaco and Baku.

But the world champion could at least console himself that he had come close to the victory, losing it only on the penultimate lap, at a time when their car clearly is not as competitive as the Flying Dutchman's.

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