Verstappen ‘not concerned’ about Mercedes’ improved pace

Date published: October 22 2021 - Michelle Foster

Max Verstappen looking down. Austin October 2021

Max Verstappen is “not concerned” about Mercedes pace as there is “nothing” Red Bull can do it about it except focus on themselves.

Red Bull feel that since the British Grand Prix, Mercedes have found something extra, or as Christian Horner put it, something “strange”, with their engine that has given them a power boost.

So much so that Red Bull questioned Mercedes’ engine with the FIA reportedly coming back saying it is legal, a decision Helmut Marko says they have to accept.

And given that there is nothing Red Bull can do to slow Mercedes down, Verstappen says it is up to his team to catch up.

“I mean, I’m not concerned, because there’s nothing you can do about it,” he told the media in Austin when asked if he was worried about Mercedes’ improved pace.

“But we just have to focus on our side.

“I think there’s a few things we can do better, and we learned again a lot in Turkey and we’ll try to do better with our package, what we have, try to find a bit more performance.”

Despite Horner and Marko’s concerns, Verstappen has finished ahead of Hamilton in three of the last five races.

Asked by the official F1 website if that meant he was going through a ‘purple patch’, he said with a smile: “Not really.

“It was all right but we know that we still have a bit of work to do, and we want to be faster, but the team result was good in Turkey; overall performance wasn’t amazing in Turkey. But we’ll try again here and see how quick we are.

“Different track, different tarmac, so… I did spend a bit of time on the simulator as well, everything felt all right, but yes, we’ll find out tomorrow.”

Verstappen heads into this weekend’s United States Grand Prix chasing only his second podium at the Circuit of the Americas, a venue where Hamilton already has five race wins.

The Red Bull driver, who is six points up on Hamilton in the Drivers’ Championship, is nonetheless looking forward to racing at COTA.

 

“It’s been a really good track, it’s a really enjoyable track to drive,” he said.

“In qualifying I would say the first sector is really cool but then in the race the end of Sector 2, the beginning of Sector 3, there’s a lot of action and different lines you can take, and you definitely can overtake here – and I think that’s what makes it special.”