Brundle: Bottas will play bigger role than Perez in F1 title battle

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas is likely to play a more important role than Red Bull counterpart Sergio Perez in helping decide the 2021 Formula 1 title battle between their teammates Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, according to Martin Brundle.

Brundle: Bottas will play bigger role than Perez in F1 title battle

Red Bull driver Verstappen goes into this weekend's Saudi Arabian GP - the penultimate round of the season - with an eight-point gap over Hamilton after having scored nine victories to the Briton's seven.

That advantage means Verstappen will have his first match point of the year at the Jeddah circuit, and will be crowned champion if he leaves Saudi Arabia with a 26-point gap to Hamilton.

The situation in such a close championship battle means the roles of their teammates will be key in the upcoming two races.

Both Bottas and Perez have scored one victory each this year, the Finn third in the standings, 13 points ahead of the Mexican.

Brundle reckons Bottas is more likely to play a role in the championship outcome, as the ex-F1 driver feels the Finn is capable of beating Verstappen, unlike Perez with Hamilton.

"I honestly think it's possible Valtteri could finish in front of Max more than Sergio could finish in front of Lewis," Brundle told selected media including Autosport.

"So I think that might just play into the title. One of these last two races, it's just possible Valtteri will take some points of Max somewhere.

"And I don't see Sergio taking points off Lewis."

He added: "There is 88 points on the table still for the constructors. So another one that could go either way. It just depends on... I don't know if the Mercedes really flies and Valtteri has one of his on days like in Istanbul, for example, or the sprint race in Brazil."

Martin Brundle, Sky TV, on the grid

Martin Brundle, Sky TV, on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

While Brundle reckons both Verstappen and Hamilton deserve this year's title, he feels the Dutchman has had his share of bad luck throughout the season.

The Sky F1 pundit cites the examples of the Azerbaijan GP - from which Verstappen retired with a tyre blowout while leading - and the British GP, where he made contact with Hamilton and failed to score while the Briton went on to win.

"I think both of them deserve it," said Brundle. "If you look at laps led, races won so far and all of that, and I think he's [Max] been a little bit more unlucky with the tyre in Baku, the result of the contact in Silverstone, being skittled in Hungary.

"Then Lewis got a little bit lucky when with his shunt in Imola, where he was a lap behind, suddenly, you know, finishing second and all that sort of thing.

"But it kind of feels like, season long, Max has had the best season so far, if you look at the numbers.

"I think either of them deserve it, but it just feels as if it's been Max's to lose, through bad luck or bad judgment or whatever. That's how the season feels to me."

Watch the Saudi Arabian GP live, only on Sky Sports F1 on Sunday 5th December.

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