Michael Schumacher's long-held records of seven World Cup triumphs and 91 race victories are at greatest risk.
But not fellow countryman and buddy Sebastian Vettel, like his idol in Ferrari, can attack the miracle best of the motorsport premier class this year. No, Lewis Hamilton could become the most decorated driver of Formula 1 at the end of the season and lift the era of the Silver Arrows into previously unattainable spheres.
In the season planned as a record year, which could become a shrinking world championship due to the coronavirus, Vettel slipped into the role of the preventer. "I do not hope that the record will fall," said the Heppenheim native – also because the 32-year-old Hesse has to deliver urgently after five years at Scuderia himself. It's also about a new contract, but Vettel – now a triple family man – does not want to stop. "At the moment, the order for the World Cup title is clear," he said. His problem: this could be his last chance in the Ferrari: too many glitches, too many mistakes, too few wins, no titles in his previous Ferrari time. And in Charles Leclerc, Vettel has a team-mate who made it clear last season that he himself wanted to end Ferrari's time without title since Kimi Raikkonen's triumph in 2007. "We all know how talented Charles is," emphasizes Ferrari boss Louis Camilleri. But the Monegasse also surprised her. The driver alliance Vettel / Leclerc quickly became a stable duel that did not bring one thing above all: the necessary boost for Ferrari to beat industry leader Mercedes.Formula 1 is firm in Mercedes handsSince 2014, the silver arrows have won thanks to Hamilton (5) and Nico Rosberg (1) always the drivers' championship and also became world champions in design. Formula 1 has been firmly in the hands of Mercedes since the introduction of turbo hybrid engines. "Mostly such a time ends because an important part of the team breaks away," says team boss Toto Wolff and adds: "It doesn't look like that at the moment." In 2021, Formula 1 is about to reform again, but much more important: So far Hamilton and Vettel there for 2021 without a contract. Shortly before Christmas, Ferrari extended the working paper with the 22-year-old Leclerc until the end of 2024, which ends with Vettel after this season. The same goes for Hamilton at Mercedes, and then? Maybe a cockpit swap of the two currently ten champions? Neither of them get younger. Vettel celebrates his 33rd birthday in July, Hamilton turned 35 in January. He is also likely to connect his further sporting fate with Wolff, who gives him the freedom at Mercedes to develop optimally between eccentricity and Weltschmerz profundity on the race track it already 84. The Briton won five of his six World Championship titles in a Mercedes. "Max Attack by 2023" Seven wins and Hamilton set Schumacher's record. Another title and he has managed the seven World Cup wonders. "The closer you get, the bigger the steps are. But of course I am incredibly honored that I am located in this category and that I have made it until then," said Hamilton once. As steep as Hamilton and Vettel strive today the new young stars Leclerc and Max Verstappen. The 22-year-old Dutchman not only gets a real home game in Zandvoort at the beginning of May, the third world championship of 2019 wants to attack the title this year. "Max Attacke until 2023" was the title of his racing team Red Bull for early contract extension. With the increasingly powerful and reliable Honda engine, the team of billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz hopes for successful times like once with Vettel from 2010 to 2013 when Red Bull cleared all the titles. Ferrari team boss Binotto stacks deeply the German pilot has shrunk continuously. This year Vettel will be alone, the 32-year-old Nico Hülkenberg had no new contract with Renault and was replaced by the 23-year-old Esteban Ocon – also one of the new generation Get more certainty if you have the right design for the car and the right drivers in the cockpits. "We don't have a winning car for Melbourne. Others are currently faster than we are," said Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto. The impression that Scuderia left during the test drives was not very engaging. Once again, the measure of all things was Hamilton in the Mercedes – the Schumacher record always firmly in view.