Max Verstappen wins third consecutive Formula One world championship
Serena Williams is backing Lewis Hamilton to win a record eighth Formula One world championship because she believes that the British driver should already have nine. The retired tennis great’s comment came after Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff revealed that he was motivated by ‘personal anger’ in his efforts to land an elusive eighth title with F1 legend Hamilton.
The 38-year-old star has not won a race for over two years after Red Bull emerged as the dominant force in the sport, with Max Verstappen winning three consecutive drivers’ championships after Hamilton had won four on the bounce.
Speaking to the PA, Wolff said: “We are living in a hamster wheel where time passes so quickly that it doesn’t feel like it has been two years. You can see how quickly the pecking order changes. But, we have to look forward, learn from the past, and push now to make Lewis win quickly again. I have a personal anger and drive to make him win the eighth title because he should have it.”
The Mercedes boss’ comments were shared on Instagram before they were picked up on by Williams. Commenting on Hamilton, the 22-time Grand Slam champion wrote: “He should have had 9 already. But…lemme be quiet.”
It is not exactly clear which seasons Williams was referring to where Hamilton could have snatched another two world championship titles but the greatest British driver of all time has been denied the title on the final day of the season on no fewer than three occasions.
By far the most controversial was at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021 when Hamilton appeared to be on course for his fifth straight title before a late safety car incident allowed Verstappen to close the gap on his rival after race officials permitted the Dutchman to overtake backmarkers.
Verstappen had jumped into the pits just before the safety car lap to put on fresh tyres and with a significant grip advantage he was able to overtake Hamilton on the final lap to land his first world title with Red Bull.
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Respect appears to be mutual between Hamilton and Williams, with the Mercedes star taking to social media to pay tribute to the American after she retired from tennis in 2022.
On hearing her announcement, Hamilton wrote on Instagram: “Taking a moment before the race today to show my appreciation and gratitude to the greatest of all time,@serenawilliams. We will never see another Serena. She’s one of a kind. She came through like a wrecking ball and has been so spectacular to witness.
“I remember watching her and Venus at their first games with my dad on TV. Seeing such talented women dominating a field where no one looked like them gave me hope. They made me believe that superheroes are real, and they can look me and my family.”
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