Lewis Hamilton leads the Formula One world championship after three races and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas already looks like the only man who can deny the Briton a record-equalling seventh title.
That at least is the view of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc, whose own hopes of building on last year’s challenge have melted away.
Hamilton dominated Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix from pole position, with a bonus point for fastest lap, to take a five point lead over Bottas, the winner of the Austrian season-opener.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is third overall, 30 points off the lead.
Asked whether they could see a scenario where Hamilton might not be champion at the end of the year, Vettel and Leclerc agreed it was unlikely.
“I think (only) if Valtteri wins the championship,” said the German, himself a four-times world champion.
“I think Lewis is obviously the main contender,” added Leclerc. “The only one that could probably stop him doing that is Valtteri.”
Mercedes, winners of the past six drivers’ and constructors’ championships, have started 2020 with three wins and three poles and are 66 points clear of closest rivals Red Bull.
Hamilton, fourth in the opener at the Red Bull Ring, has won two in a row and the next races are at his home Silverstone circuit.
Bottas has a win, a second place and a third — in that order — and blew Sunday’s race at the start. The Finn started stronger last season and still ended up far behind his team mate by the end. — Reuters