Ex-F1 racer Jan Lammers has tipped Mercedes to provide a stern challenge to the dominant Red Bull team in Austin.
Talk of the wheels potentially falling off the Red Bull bus now feels like a very distant memory, with that Singapore blip proving to be nothing more than that.
Since then, Max Verstappen has added fresh dominant victories in Japan and Qatar to his expansive collection, sealing his third World Championship in Qatar after wrapping-up the Constructors’ crown for Red Bull at the Japanese GP.
Red Bull warned to be wary of Mercedes
Five rounds remain in F1 2023 as the series heads to its next battleground, the Circuit of The Americas for the United States Grand Prix, where Verstappen will look to make it a hat-trick of wins at the venue as he goes to battle in the “Texas style” RB19.
But, Lammers has name-dropped Mercedes as a team that could keep Red Bull on their toes, arguing that they have shown “potential” recently which they could not take advantage of.
George Russell recovered to P4 in Qatar despite colliding with team-mate Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap.
“Mercedes has shown a lot of potential in recent races,” Lammers told RacingNews365.com. “They just haven’t gotten the most out of it for the time being.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they manage to do that now. In that case, Mercedes is going to be good in the United States.”
McLaren to inflict further sprint defeat on Red Bull?
While Verstappen and Red Bull once more had the Grand Prix win covered in Qatar, it was McLaren who emerged victorious on sprint Saturday, courtesy of their impressive rookie racer Oscar Piastri.
And 1996 World Champion Damon Hill has tipped McLaren to win again with sprint action returning at the United States Grand Prix, this time courtesy of Lando Norris.
“I think Lando has got to win,” said Hill on the F1 Nation podcast. “He’s due [a win] isn’t he Lando? Sprint Lando, race is going to be Max.
“The Achilles’ heel if you can call it that at all, with this Red Bull and Max is when drivers are on their flat-out pace. And it seems to be evident that while their car is particularly good at saving tyres over a long stint, the shorter the race, I think the more vulnerable the Red Bull is.”
If Verstappen were to take the United States Grand Prix win, he would match his record tally from last year of 15 wins in a season.