Damon Hill: “Lewis likes to be the hunter”

© LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

1996 Formula 1 champion Damon Hill says Lewis Hamilton is “pretty cool about keeping his emotions in check” as he approached the final two races of the season.

Lewis Hamilton is moving into the penultimate race of the 2021 season with an eight points deficit to Max Verstappen in the championship standings.

Damon Hill says this is not something that seems to be worrying the Briton.

“Lewis likes to be the hunter, doesn’t he?” Hill said on the F1 Nation podcast.

“So he’s happy where he is, hunting. But he’s got precious few opportunities now to make up the deficit.

“We have got a statistical situation now where he could lose the championship to Max. Max could win it in the next round at Saudi Arabia, if certain permutations take place.”

One of the situations in which Max would win the title in the next race is if he wins the race, while Lewis finishes sixth or lower. However, Damon doesn’t thing that’s very likely.

“When was the last time he came sixth? The performance advantage was definitely there for Mercedes.

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“You’ve got this new engine don’t forget. Toto said they’re going to put the ‘spicy engine‘ in!”

Hill also acknowledged the magnitude of the fact that this is the first time in the 2021 season that the result of a race could also decide the title-race.

“It’s the first time we’ve got all the way down to the last two races. This is the first time you could actually say, ‘If something happens to one of the protagonists, the other guy’s going to be world champion.’

“Well no actually – it could only be Max [in the next race], it couldn’t be Lewis because he’s got the deficit.”

Despite this, Lewis is showing a calmness and focus that cannot easily be shaken.

“Hamilton won it, but he wasn’t leaping up and down. He was pretty cool about keeping his emotions in check, as was Max Verstappen.

“I don’t think it’s a time for happiness yet, the tension is still too intense. It’s too palpable, and they are so close to the finish now.

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen,” concluded the 1996 champion.

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