Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton will both be aiming to win in the United States.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are set to go toe-to-toe at the United States Grand Prix this weekend and tensions between the pair could be higher than ever following the ongoing claim that the Mercedes driver should be awarded the 2021 F1 world championship. Red Bull were found to have made a minor breach of the spending cap, but they are only expected to receive a fine and not a points deduction.
There will be no qualms over this season’s title, however, as the Dutchman raced to another victory in Japan, where he was crowned champion. Verstappen will still be chasing further wins in America, Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi, but if his team claim victory at every circuit they will still fall short of Mercedes’ record.
Red Bull have 14 wins this season, and if either Verstappen or team-mate Sergio Perez cross the chequered line first the team will have wins in 18 races this season. However, in 2016 Mercedes won 19 of 21 races through Hamilton’s ten wins and Nico Rosberg’s nine.
Seven-time world champion Hamilton is still waiting for his first win of this season after finishing fifth in Japan. He will hope to be awarded his eighth world title by the FIA after the governing body found that Red Bull had made a minor breach of the 2021 cost cap.
The team overstepped the cap by less than five per cent, and the FIA are currently determining the course of action to take. Mercedes chief Toto Wolff admitted he would be willing to breach the cap if the penalty is just a fine, as he believes it is an advantage that Red Bull had over his team.
“If Red Bull had overspent by two million, they could close the matter by paying the FIA five times, therefore ten million,” Wolff told Corriere dello Sport. “And in any case it would not be fair because it would sanction the right to cheat by paying a fine.
“Mercedes have already talked about it and, if this were really the point of failure, Mercedes is ready to plan extra budget and related fine to recover performance and return to the top.”
Mercedes are set to make changes to Hamilton’s car next season and the 37-year-old is hoping to “fight back” in 2023 having watched Verstappen win the title at a canter. “I’m behind in points, but it’s the bigger picture,” Hamilton told Sky Sports.
“I hope that that work will impact us better for not only the remaining races this year, but into next year, in terms of where we steer, because I’m a part of that rudder, in terms of steering us in the direction. I hope so much that we can fight back next year, and we just have to speak it, and work it, into existence.”