Verstappen fears Mercedes pace

11 October 2021 20:45:31 GMTPlus11
Mercedes have the pace needed to trouble Red Bull

Red Bull ace Max Verstappen admits his team need to work out why they are lagging behind Mercedes in terms of pace, despite having retaken the lead in the Drivers' Championship in Turkey on Sunday.

The Dutchman is now six points clear of main rival Lewis Hamilton after his second-placed finish and can be backed to win the US Grand Prix in two weeks' time at 8/11, with Hamilton priced at 13/8.

Hamilton penalty a help

In a damp Grand Prix, the 24-year-old struggled to keep up with race winner Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes and was racing with the bonus of Hamilton having been demoted ten places on the grid for a breach of engine change regulations.

An ill-advised pit stop saw Hamilton drop from third to fifth, with the frustrated 36-year-old Brit disagreeing with his team's strategy.

Had Hamilton remained third, the gap would only be one point heading into the Austin, Texas Grand Prix, but now Verstappen has a slightly more comfortable buffer.

We'll have to analyse why we weren't that competitive here.

Max Verstappen

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However, they are preparing to visit a circuit where the Silver Arrows have dominated in recent years - winning five of the last six races.

And, Verstappen says they must analyse why they haven't been as fast recently and work to correct it.

"They (Mercedes) were definitely quicker this weekend. We just didn't get it together," he admitted.

"Also, in the wet, they seem to have a bit of the edge as well, so we'll have to analyse why we weren't that competitive here.

"I definitely do think they probably stepped it up a bit more, so even with the points lead, it's not going to be easy."

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