Max Verstappen will be looking to celebrate his 50th Grand Prix victory in Formula 1 in Austin in his first race as a triple world champion.
The Dutch Red Bull driver will continue his pursuit of records on Sunday (9pm) at the US Grand Prix of Texas. It’s a race weekend, including a sprint on Sunday night, so some time to get used to it can be exciting. Behind Verstappen, teammate Sergio Perez will have to defend his second place in the world championship.
“It’s another sprint weekend and it’s going to be really exciting for us,” said Verstappen, whose car will feature a special fan-made design. The 26-year-old won his third consecutive world title in Qatar and also holds the record for most laps in a season (739) with five races remaining.
Verstappen crashed out of the race in Austin
Verstappen leads the overall World Cup standings with 209 points; Until now, former RB driver Sebastian Vettel has maintained the biggest gap in F1 history with 155 points in 2003.
Other records in Verstappen’s sights include most wins in a season (15) and most points (454). Verstappen set both records last season and with 14 GP wins and currently 433 points to his name, the triple champion will break both records again.
Austrian-British racing team Red Bull has a lot at stake in Austin. The “Bulls” are chasing Mercedes’ record season of 2016 with 19 victories, this year Verstappen (14) and Perez (2) celebrated 16 victories in 17 races.
Perez wants Bolster to finish
Perez is already under a bit of pressure. After a strong start to the season, the Mexican has lost even more ground and will need to defend his 30-point lead over Lewis Hamilton in the remaining races to secure his place in the Red Bull cockpit.
“I have to get back to my best now,” said Perez, who was already looking forward to the Grand Prix at home a week later. “Austin and Mexico are two of my favorite races because I have incredible support at both places. Even if you can’t hear it in the car, you can feel it.”
Hamilton lost an excellent starting position in Qatar when the record world champion crashed out of the race himself with teammate George Russell in the first corner. “This race is an example of what could have been,” said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff.
Mercedes is struggling with a lack of points
Viennas added that it was disappointing to lose so many points, especially as the car’s pace was strong. But it was exciting how both drivers handled it. Russell returned to fourth. “Both Louis and George know the team comes first. They have no intention of ever jeopardizing that.”
Wolff also announced that the last significant update to the “Silver Arrow” for the current season will be in Austin with an improved underbody. The battle for second place in the constructors’ championship has become more intense recently, with Mercedes currently leading Ferrari by 28 points.
The incoming McLaren team is still 107 points behind, but eleven ahead of fifth-placed Aston Martin.
Ricciardo celebrates his comeback
Daniel Ricciardo will celebrate his comeback. Albadari will retake the cockpit from substitute driver Liam Lawson after the Australian broke his arm.
Ricciardo broke his left metacarpal bone during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort at the end of August and missed five stations. “It was very frustrating to experience the races only as a spectator,” insisted the 34-year-old. “Everyone knows I love Austin.”
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