Hamilton keeping an eye on 'title runner' Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton believes Red Bull and Max Verstappen remain a force to be reckoned with this season despite... The post Hamilton keeping an eye on 'title runner' Verstappen appeared first on F1i.com.

Hamilton keeping an eye on 'title runner' Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton believes Red Bull and Max Verstappen remain a force to be reckoned with this season despite the Briton's healthy lead in the championship.

Hamilton currently holds a 37-point advantage over Verstappen in the drivers' standings with six races on the board but eleven rounds to go.

Verstappen split the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in three of the last four events and winning the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

While many are predicting an open road to a seventh title for Hamilton, the 88-time Grand Prix winner refuses to put the cart before the horse when it comes to the fight for the world title.

"If you take the first race away with Max having the DNF [in Austria], I think if you look at the results, we've been very, very close in the points still," said Hamilton.

"And obviously, [Red Bull have] had very strong results and are getting closer in races. Maybe in qualifying we do have the edge, but as I say, when it comes to the race, we're generally a lot closer.

"We're not even halfway through the season and so I absolutely keep my eye on them – I think they still are a title runner and so we need to stay on our toes."

One can always count on Verstappen to fight until the very end, but the Dutchman is also a realist when assessing his results year-to-date and his prospects moving forward, believing that red Bull has "overachieved" so far this season.

"Looking at pure pace, they of course, both of them, they should be ahead of me in the championship," Verstappen said, alluding to his Mercedes rivals.

"I had one retirement, [Bottas] finished out of the points with a puncture, so no points. But of course that was unlucky for him, and unlucky for me in the first race.

"To be second in a few races where I think Mercedes had more pace, we definitely overachieved a bit. And besides that, I think we always maximised what we could. I'm very happy with that.

"As a team and myself, we are not here to be second or third, we want to fight for the championship, but you also have to accept the situation we are in, that we are not really able to challenge.

"It looks like it on paper, but if you look at the pure pace, we are too slow.

"At the moment, we are relying on a bit of an off day for Mercedes or a bit of luck to win a race. So there's still a lot of work to do."

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Source : F1 i More   

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Haas open to full driver line-up change for 2021

Haas boss Guenther Steiner isn't dismissing replacing both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean with an entirely new line-up... The post Haas open to full driver line-up change for 2021 appeared first on F1i.com.

Haas open to full driver line-up change for 2021

Haas boss Guenther Steiner isn't dismissing replacing both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean with an entirely new line-up for 2021, insisting "everything is possible" for next year.

Magnussen and Grosjean have been paired at the US outfit since 2017, and while the potential for achieving good results since then has often been restricted by the team's limits, intra-teammate clashes and individual blunders have also contributed to Haas' poor track record.

Nico Hulkenberg's availability could be of interest to Haas for next season while the Ferrari-powered team could also serve as a training ground for a member of the Scuderia's driver Academy.

The potential exit of Sergio Perez from Racing Point should the latter decide to partner with Sebastian Vettel in 2021 would also put the Mexican on Haas' short list.

"We are looking at everything," Steiner said ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

"We are looking at all the drivers, and we haven't made the decision," Steiner said in Spa on Thursday.

"I'm not trying to be evasive. We just got the Concorde done and I did not speak with Gene [Haas, team owner] about drivers yet.

"I want his input on the drivers, so that will come soon. As soon as he can make it to a race we will sit down and discuss it.

"But at the moment, everything is on the table from keeping the drivers we have got, to getting two rookies. So if you want the seat you can apply for it! Everything is possible in the moment."

Both Magnussen and Grosjean are hopeful of remaining with their team although neither has yet discussed their 2021 plans with Steiner.

"It's been a busy time lately with all the triple-headers, and there's another one now," said Magnussen.

"There hasn't been any good reason to start talking drivers when the team's future has been the main point to sort out.

"I expect there will start to be some talks from now on at some point, but we'll see about that."

Grosjean echoed his teammate's view.

"I think there aren't that many seats available on the grid," he said. “It's great news that Haas stays in Formula 1 and obviously gives a bit more opportunity.

"I guess the talks are going to happen at some stage. Right now, to be 100% honest, with the triple-headers and everything, we're just focused on racing and trying to get the best we can."

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The post Haas open to full driver line-up change for 2021 appeared first on F1i.com.

Source : F1 i More   

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