Max Verstappen backed to BEAT Lewis Hamilton to F1 title by Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso

FORMER world champs Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso BOTH want Max Verstappen to beat Lewis Hamilton to the Formula One title.

Mercedes man Hamilton, 36, can surpass Michael Schumacher with an eighth F1 title if he finishes ahead of Red Bull's Verstappen in the Abu Dhabi finale.

Schumacher's fellow German Vettel has got his legendary countyman's interests at heart when it comes to Sunday's showdown.

Vettel, who is a four-time world champion himself,said: "Michael is my hero.

"For that reason I probably don't want Lewis to win but the truth is they have both had a strong season.

"I'd be happy if Michael's record still stands but even if Lewis wins, to me Michael is still the greatest."

Brit Hamilton's old team-mate Alonso said: "Max is driving, in my opinion, one step ahead of all of us.

"Mercedes deserve the constructors' championship because the car is superior.

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"But Max, overall in the year, was driving one step ahead of everyone."

Hamilton has another incentive for winning on Sunday apart from being statistically the greatest driver ever.

It has emerged he is set to pocket a staggering £3.4million bonus if he wins the 2021 F1 title.

The bonus will be a nice cherry on top to go with the £40million salary he receives from Mercedes.

He is the sport's higest paid driver, earning £22m more than closest rival Verstappen.

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