Verstappen seeks maiden Texan triumph


Max Verstappen will search to beat Lewis Hamilton in one of many defending champion’s favorite backyards this weekend to grasp his personal American dream and consolidate his lead within the Formula One drivers’ world championship.

Having completed fourth, third and second, however by no means received on the Circuit of the Americas, the Dutchman is aiming to say a maiden Texan triumph to increase his six-point benefit with six races to go.

“We have always been competitive in the US and have got close to some good results — so it’s about converting that into a win now,” he mentioned. “We go to each observe realizing we are able to struggle for a podium a minimum of, but additionally a win — and that’s completely different to previous years.

“We are focused on doing the best we can and always trying to win and it will be no different in Austin. It’ll be another close battle and I am looking forward to it.”

Verstappen and his Red Bull workforce know, nevertheless, that Mercedes have loved a dominant run of outcomes for the reason that inaugural race in 2012, when Hamilton recorded the primary of his 5 wins within the eight races so far.

Of the remaining three, his team-mate Valtteri Bottas was victorious as soon as, within the final occasion held in 2019, whereas Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel received in 2013 and Kimi Raikkonen in 2018.

That statistical proof, added to the best way Mercedes bounced again within the final two contests in Russia and Turkey, with one win apiece for Hamilton and Bottas, suggests the Honda-powered workforce could have their work lower out this weekend.

“It was encouraging to see our momentum continue last time out in Turkey,” mentioned the Silver Arrows’ workforce chief Toto Wolff.

“We have not scored back-to-back race wins in a short time so naturally spirits have been excessive within the factories.

“It was a dominant performance from Valtteri in tricky conditions, taking his first win of the season — a faultless drive. He was in control from the start and it’s a great boost to him and the team.”

Mercedes’ latest return to type has partially been attributable to improved energy and tempo, albeit that Hamilton’s grid penalty for taking a brand new engine in Turkey restricted him to ending solely fifth.

“For Lewis, the absolute view of Turkey is that he lost one point more than Max did in the previous race in Russia with a similar engine change — which we can live with,” mentioned Wolff, including that he expects extra dramatic twists and turns earlier than this yr’s compelling title race is run.

As Wolff voiced his personal upbeat views, Red Bull boss Christian Horner sought to lift the stakes and add strain on his Austrian counterpart.

“Toto’s done a tremendous job operating that team and maintaining their performance, but he’s never experienced anything other than winning,” mentioned Horner.

“So for him now, it’s a different type of pressure. It’s tough… He came in in 2013 when the structure was already there, in place, built by Ross Brawn. Lewis was there, already signed…”

Horner’s feedback could recommend he additionally has been feeling the warmth because the phoney battle intensified and Mercedes pulled clear within the constructors’ championship by 36 factors.

He will hope, nevertheless, that no matter injury they might endure in Texas they will restore in Mexico the place Mercedes’ energy items have typically struggled for breath within the tempestuous circumstances.

And simply as Bottas rose to win once more in Turkey, Horner will hope that Sergio Perez will rise in Texas after which on home soil to play a distinguished position within the championship run-in.

On the bumpy, however quick Austin observe, Mercedes are anticipated to take pleasure in an influence benefit, notably on the lengthy straight, however it is probably not straightforward if Red Bull discover a set-up that lets them achieve in different sectors.

Behind them, an equally tight scrap between Ferrari and McLaren is anticipated following the Italians’ improved tempo in Turkey.

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