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Austin (United States) (AFP)
The track record of “Mad Max” behind his “American dream” does not include winning on the lands of “Uncle Sam”, as in previous years he was satisfied with his second best result (2018), third (2019) and fourth (2017), hoping to end his “fast”. He climbed to the top of the podium to increase his six-point lead, with six races remaining.
“We’ve always been competitive in the States and we’ve come close to doing well, so it’s about turning that into a win now,” Verstappen said. the last years”.
And the leader with 262.50 points added, “We focus our efforts on doing the best and always try to win, so things will not be different in Austin. It will be a new close battle and I look forward to it.”
The Austrian fold and Verstappen are aware of the strength of the Mercedes team that cannot be underestimated and the dominance it has imposed since the addition of the Grand Prix to the championship calendar in 2012, where “Sir” Hamilton, seeking a seventh world title and his disengagement from the German legend Michael Schumacher, achieved his first success in a series of Five victories in the eight editions of the race.
The numbers indicate that the first place on the other three occasions returned to Hamilton’s teammate, Finn Valtteri Bottas, in 2019, the last year to hold the grand prix after it was absent last year due to the repercussions of the Corona virus, while the former Red Bull driver and the current Aston Martin won the four world champions. German Sebastian Vettel times in 2013, and the first place went to Finn Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari driver at the time, in 2018.
These statistics, combined with the way Mercedes responded in the last two races in Russia and Turkey, where Hamilton and Bottas shared victories in both, confirm that Honda-powered Red Bull should do its best this weekend.
Austrian Silver Stocks director Toto Wolff praised his team’s development, saying, “It was encouraging to see our momentum continuing in Turkey.”
“We haven’t won two races in a row for a while, so it’s normal for morale to rise at the factory.”
He described Bottas’ performance in the previous round in Turkey as “dominant, in deceptive circumstances, to achieve his first victory this year, without leadership errors. He dominated from the start and it is a strong boost for him and the team.”
Mercedes owes its return to competition and level to a drastic tweak to the drivetrain and acceleration, although the team’s decision to supply Hamilton’s car with a new engine imposed a 10-place penalty on the Turkish GP and prevented him from finishing Better than fifth Sunday.
Wolff, who expects more dramatic ups and downs before the curtain comes down on this year’s title race, played down what happened in Istanbul, saying: “For Hamilton, the overall picture is that he lost a point more than Max did in the previous grand prix in Russia with a similar engine swap. It’s something we can live with.”
Against his own perspective and Wolff’s screeching voice, Red Bull’s British boss Christian Horner has chosen to raise the bar and increase pressure on his Austrian counterpart.
“Wolf did a great job managing this team and maintaining his performance, but he only experienced victory,” he said.
“So for him now, it’s a different kind of pressure. It’s difficult… He joined the team in 2013 after putting in place the structure of the team founded by (British) Ross Braun (current managing and technical director of Formula One). Lewis was also present, after he had already Sign the team…”.
Some consider Horner’s recent comments to suggest he is also feeling the pressure as the ‘pseudo war’ intensifies and Mercedes leads the constructors’ championship by 36 points (433.50 vs. 397.50).
Horner hopes to compensate for the damage he may suffer in Texas, in the next round in Mexico, where his direct competitor, Mercedes, usually faces a problem with his engine due to the altitude factor of the circuit.
With Bottas back on the winning streak, Horner is hoping his Mexican newcomer Sergio “Chico” Perez will follow his Finnish counterpart first in Texas and then at home to play a decisive role in the constructors’ title fight.
On the bumpy but fast Austin track, Mercedes hopes to benefit from the power of its engine, particularly in the long straights, but at the same time realizes the difficulty of his task if Red Bull can find the best tuning parameters that will help him win more seconds in other sections. .
Behind Mercedes and Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren have equal chances, after the development of the “running horse” in Turkey in terms of speed with its drivers Charles Leclerc of Monaco, who finished fourth, and Carlos Sainz of Spain, eighth.
© 2021 AFP