“Austin was a Hamilton stronghold for a few years now,” says Red Bull team principal Chris Horner. The 36-year-old series world champion has triumphed five times in the past eight years, most recently a Mercedes took pole position six times. In 2019 it was Valtteri Bottas, who also won. In the previous year, the US GP was canceled due to the pandemic.
Verstappen has seven wins this season, two more than Hamilton, and is ready to take his chance in Texas. “We now know that we can at least fight for the podium on every track, but also for victory, and that is different than in previous years,” explained the 24-year-old. “In the US we’ve always been competitive and we’ve had some good results. Now is the time to turn that into a victory. It’s going to be another close race and I’m ready. ” Verstappen was second in Austin in 2018 and most recently third in 2019.
Before the duels with Mercedes there is always a big question mark this year, Verstappen emphasized. “Hopefully we can take on them this weekend and keep the championship lead. There are new challenges in every race that we have to master. It won’t be any different here, a lot can happen, but we will only focus on ourselves. “
Sebastian Vettel has to accept a deferral in the starting line-up. The four-time world champion confirmed at a press conference on Thursday that the engine in his Aston Martin needs to be changed. Because the allowed number is exceeded, he gets a penalty.