LEWIS HAMILTON may not be out of the Formula One title race just yet.
This is because of an incredible omen which has befallen the sport since 2017.
Lewis Hamilton has been handed a boost to his F1 title hopes
Despite Max Verstappen’s dominating victory in the season opener
Max Verstappen cruised to victory at the season-opener in Bahrain, producing a dominant display which has left fans believing the season is already over.
However, as Hamilton will know all too well, F1 is a marathon, not a sprint.
And an omen which has gone in his favour in the past could return to haunt Verstappen as he endeavours to land a third title in a row.
A remarkable pattern has revealed the winner of the opening race in each of the last six seasons has NOT gone on to win the world championship.
Seven-time champion Hamilton benefitted from this phenomenon on its first four occasions.
He beat then-Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel to the title after Vettel won the season opener in Australia in 2017 and 2018.
He then emerged victorious over former team-mate and 2019 and 2020 opening race winner Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton himself fell victim to the curse in 2021, winning the season opener in Bahrain before Verstappen controversially clinched the title on the final lap of the season.
Could Verstappen be the curse’s next victim?
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Verstappen then won his second title last season after Charles Leclerc won the 2022 opener.
Therefore, if we believe this pattern, despite Verstappen’s Bahrain win the season is far from over.
The same time period has seen another strange data set emerge.
In this case, the driver topping the charts in the second free practice session (FP2) of the season’s first grand prix has gone on to land the title.
This points towards Fernando Alonso winning his third-ever F1 title – and first since 2006 – after he topped the charts during this year’s session.
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The Spaniard’s Aston Martin allowed him to claim his 99th career podium after overtaking Carlos Sainz with a hilarious reaction.
This shows a remarkable turnaround by a team who only finished seventh in the constructor’s championship last year.
Data trends since 2017 suggest Fernando Alonso could pick up a third F1 title