Hamilton bracing for 'incredibly difficult' title showdown

Lewis Hamilton expects his title fight against Red Bull's Max Verstappen to be "incredibly difficult" as the battle... The post Hamilton bracing for 'incredibly difficult' title showdown appeared first on F1i.com.

Hamilton bracing for 'incredibly difficult' title showdown

Lewis Hamilton expects his title fight against Red Bull's Max Verstappen to be "incredibly difficult" as the battle enters its final stages, but the Mercedes driver says he'll take things "one race at a time".

Verstappen lead Hamilton by just six points in the Drivers' standings with six races to go, including this weekend US Grand Prix in Austin.

While Red Bull's RB16B enjoyed an edge over Mercedes W12, the Brackley squad had the upper hand over its Milton Keynes-based rival in Russia and Turkey. But the bulls are expected to be on song at the Circuit of the Americas this weekend.

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"It’s important to win every race, somehow maximising our points, that’s our goal over the next six races," said Hamilton. "It’s going to be incredibly difficult.

"There will be moments where perhaps we can edge them out and there may be places… I don’t like to assume that Mexico is not going to be strong but they’re usually very strong in Mexico.

"But a lot can happen in these six races so I think we’ll just take one race at a time, give it everything we’ve got."

  • Read also - Horner: Hamilton 'the titan' has never faced a rival such as Max

Verstappen and Hamilton have suffered several flash points this season, and while a few strong words were exchanged in the aftermath of the incidents, Hamilton insists he has maintained a normal relationship with his adversary.

"Maybe some of the drivers hang more than others do," he said. "I wouldn’t say I particularly closely hang with anybody here.

"So like last year we would see each other at the track and we’ll say ‘hi’. We’ll do the same thing this year. It’s no different for me personally."

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Verstappen loves IndyCar, but no fan of ovals

Max Verstappen says he loves to watch IndyCar on TV, but the Dutchman rules out racing in the... The post Verstappen loves IndyCar, but no fan of ovals appeared first on F1i.com.

Verstappen loves IndyCar, but no fan of ovals

Max Verstappen says he loves to watch IndyCar on TV, but the Dutchman rules out racing in the US series in the future because of its "risky" ovals.

Over the years, several European F1 drivers have headed west to take part in America's premier single-seater championship, with various degrees of success.

Former Haas charger Romain Grosjean is the latest F1 driver to cross the Atlantic in search of a second career in IndyCar, and Nico Hulkenberg will enjoy his test debut in the series next week with Arrow McLaren SP, while Alpine junior Christian Lundgaard has just signed up for a full campaign in the US with Rahal Letterman Lanigan.

Verstappen says he's keeping an eye on the IndyCar scene, but only for entertainment purposes.

©IndyCar

"I love to watch. It's of course a little bit different to F1, but I think that's also nice and makes it very interesting to watch," the Red Bull driver told NBC Sports.

"From my side, I'm of course happy to be in Formula 1, because I'm not personally a big fan of ovals. The street tracks and road courses are good, but nah, I would not be a big fan of oval racing myself."

  • Read also: Hulkenberg set for Barber IndyCar test with Arrow McLaren SP

Verstappen isn't oblivious of the risks associated with Formula 1, but believes that racing at 200 mph on ovals is tempting fate.

"It's just the risk of a big crash is big," said the 17-time Grand Prix winner.

"Of course, I know in Formula 1 there also is risk of an impact, but when you hit a certain wall with 200-plus mph, it's not enjoyable.

"That risk is higher in IndyCar, and especially if you would hit someone else and you go into the fence, there are plenty of examples where it doesn't end well, or you end up being really hurt.

"For me, I love to watch it, I have a lot of respect for the drivers who do it, but I'm happy where I am."

Nevertheless, the 24-year-old says IndyCar is a good destination for drivers who reach a dead end in F1 or for young guns who are starved of an opportunity to make it into the big time.

"Some fully commit to being successful in America like Rinus [VeeKay] did, for example," Verstappen said. "He just said, ‘Ok, I’m going to focus on America, and I’m going to try to make it there.’ Because IndyCar is, of course, the F1 of America.

"So, it’s also a bit of having the opportunity sometimes to be in Formula 1 or not when there is not the right seat for you. IndyCar is a great alternative to go to because the level is super high. They race great tracks. They have great teams.

"So when you get an opportunity to drive for example in IndyCar over Formula E, I can fully understand because the speeds are higher, and it’s a proper race car.

"And I think that’s why some guys also who are in Formula 2, but they don’t see a direct path to Formula 1, they go to IndyCar."

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