Only a freak twist can deny Max Verstappen the title, Lewis Hamilton’s hopes of a future record eighth championship boosted by Mercedes’ upturn in form, but blundering Ferrari are all over the place… F1’s half-term report as the summer break begins

Formula One’s weary cast retreat for their summer lie-down after 13 races on four continents in 20 frenetic weeks. The table doesn’t lie when it tells us who has been the best driver and is likely to remain so: Max Verstappen, who leads the rest by 80 points. This may partly be because Lewis Hamilton has not been up his gearbox. There is personal animus between the pair that does not exist between Verstappen and his part-time rival and contemporary Charles Leclerc. But they have also denied us a mouth-watering rematch between Lewis and Max. Hamilton was also unhappy that Sir Jackie Stewart suggested it might be time for him to retire. It should have been Leclerc, and that’s another misplaced call Ferrari bumbled towards.

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