Max does not see it clearly. Mercedes has been reasonably faster than Red Bull at Monza, Sochi and Istanbul, the last three stops at the Grand Circus, and Austin looks like another one of those circuits that will suit Hamilton’s car better. Verstappen surpassed the Englishman in the last race and recovered the first position of the championship with six points of advantage, in that tremendous pulse that allows changes of leader in practically every grand prix. With six races still to go, there are 150 points at stake on Sundays, plus six for the fastest laps and another three on the Interlagos sprint. Nothing is decided and the World Cup can come to Abu Dhabi alive.
For the Dutch pilot, ehe W12 has taken a recent quality leap that unbalances the battle with Red Bull: “They were definitely faster in Turkey, we didn’t catch up with them and in the rain they had a margin. We will analyze why we were not so competitive and I think they may have gone a step further. It’s not going to be easy, but we’ve had a great year so far and I’m always going to do my best. As I said, it is not going to change my life to be first or second, I will always give my best and I hope it will be enough. If it isn’t, I won’t sleep less. “
Verstappen believes that The Americas (United States GP, next week) will also smile more at Mercedes: “There are cross-country sections as well and the degradation of the tires is also quite high (like in Istanbul), so these are details to take into account. Maybe on other circuits we can be a little better, but it will never be easy. The year has been very tight. Sometimes it seemed that we were a little better, but in other circuits they were quite fast. I hope that in the next races there will be some tracks, more than half, that will suit us better. “
In theory, Mexico seems like a level circuit with power zones and fast corners, good for Mercedes, but also a slow sector that benefits Red Bull. Of what lies ahead, Interlagos, Jeddah and Abu Dhabi are circuits for Verstappen (In urban areas, the RB16B was superior) while Qatar, a very fast track, must be Hamilton territory.
In this fight for the title, external help is indispensable. Hamilton has Bottas, who won in Istanbul and contained Max, and Verstappen has Pérez, who held Hamilton and achieved his second podium of the season after the triumph in Azerbaijan, several months ago. “I had very bad luck in the previous races. In Monza I finished on the podium, but I had the penalty, and in Russia I was on the podium three laps from the end. It was good because I had no pace to match the Mercedes, I felt uncomfortable in the car and still we maximize the result. If we can do it in the next six races, we can win, “says the Mexican. Your team needs you.