Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen

Marko: Hamilton is the favourite for 2020 title

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton remains favourite to win the 2020 Formula 1 world championship, according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.

The 2020 season gets underway this weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria after the start was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Max Verstappen came home first in the past two Austrian Grands Prix for Red Bull and will go into the race as one of the favourites for the race and the title, but Marko warned that competing for a title would come with more pressure for the 22-year-old.

“We are facing a bizarre situation, nobody can predict the exact number of races now,” he told WKO.

“Therefore, you have to be up front from the beginning, be aggressive, but you can’t afford to retire if there are only eight races. I see Lewis Hamilton as the favourite, who is after his seventh title.

“We want the first championship for Verstappen – that’s my preference, but it comes with more pressure.”

The Dutch driver enjoyed his best season in Formula 1 to date last year, earning three races wins and third place in the overall standings, but still finished 135 points adrift of Hamilton.