Red Bull’s Verstappen heads into the final two races of the season with an eight-point advantage over Hamilton, who won consecutive races in Brazil and Qatar to successfully reduce what had been a 21-point deficit. 

While Gasly expects Mercedes to be very strong once again at this weekend’s inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the AlphaTauri driver thinks Verstappen will ultimately prevail to the title, especially if he still has a points lead after Jeddah. 

“Max has the point advantage,” Gasly said. “I kind of see him winning in the end. He’s got two races. It’s only two races, but he’s got eight points advantage, so he’s clearly in the better position.

“I don’t think it’s going to be an easy one. I think Mercedes is going to be very strong here.

“But if he arrives in Abu Dhabi with the points advantage, I think he’s going to get the championship.”

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says he has now changed his mind over who he believes is the favourite for the world championship.

With momentum shifting towards Hamilton ever since his comeback victory in Brazil, Leclerc feels the seven-time world champion will be hard to beat.

“I keep changing my mind!” Leclerc said. “I was pretty sure Max will get it until Sao Paulo and then after Brazil I changed a bit my mind. 

“Now I think probably Lewis is on a good run - but it's true Max has the points advantage which is what matters. 

“So it's going to be tight but if anything, maybe Lewis.” 


Meanwhile, George Russell - who will become Hamilton’s teammate next year - said he has been impressed by the gains Mercedes has managed to make over the course of the campaign. 

“It’s been great to see to be honest,” Russell explained. “I think as another driver, you appreciate what both of them are achieving in their given circumstances. 

“I think they are both driving excellently and it’s great to see a proper battle going on between the two, and how each team has progressed throughout the season. 

“I think Red Bull and Max probably had the upper hand at the start of the year and things have slightly swayed maybe into Lewis’s hands in recent events. 

“But it always impresses me how well Mercedes manages to really and fully optimise their package. 

"Even in a year of no development, they are still finding these small marginal gains, which, over the course of a season, results in some quite big progress. So I’m sure it’ll go down to the wire.”