Verstappen braced for ‘very strong’ Mercedes in France

Date published: June 15 2021 - Mark Scott

Max Verstappen Lewis Hamilton Red Bull Mercedes PA

World Championship leader Max Verstappen is wary of a Mercedes fightback in France on a more traditional racing circuit.

Verstappen and Red Bull sit atop of both World Championship standings after the first six rounds and now all eyes are on whether they can continue to get the better of Mercedes now that the calendar has moved on from the street circuits of Monaco and Baku, venues which proved to be a weakness for the Silver Arrows.

“Iโ€™m feeling good,” Verstappen said via his official website ahead of round seven in France.

“But I’m sure that Mercedes will be very strong on the ‘normal’ tracks again, so we have to keep pushing and keep improving right to the very end because itโ€™s never enough.

“So far the season has been pretty good to us but we need to remember that there are still a lot of races ahead of us. I am happy with the race results that we have had so far and that we are leading the championship, but we also have to be there leading it in Abu Dhabi, thatโ€™s all that matters.”

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The open Paul Ricard track with huge run-off areas represents a stark contrast to the narrow nature of the Monte Carlo and Baku street circuits, something that Verstappen will find “weird” to adapt to this weekend.

“The Circuit Paul Ricard is a fast track.” Verstappen summarised.

“There are a fast few corners towards the end of the lap and you also have to be quite careful with tyre degradation.

“Thereโ€™s also a lot of run off so sometimes itโ€™s a bit weird because there is so much space, which is of course completely different than the two street circuits weโ€™ve just been to.

“Iโ€™m looking forward to going back to Paul Ricard and hopefully stepping on the top step of the podium.”

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