Horner: Hamilton 'the titan' has never faced a rival such as Max

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes Lewis Hamilton has never dealt with a championship rival as strong... The post Horner: Hamilton 'the titan' has never faced a rival such as Max appeared first on F1i.com.

Horner: Hamilton 'the titan' has never faced a rival such as Max

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner believes Lewis Hamilton has never dealt with a championship rival as strong as Max Verstappen during his career in F1.

Grand Prix racing's two top warriors are locked in a massive battle for supremacy that has all the makings of a classic F1 heavyweight matchup.

With six rounds to go in the 2021 championship and ahead of this weekend's US Grand Prix, Verstappen leads Hamilton in Drivers' standings by just six points.

In 2016, the title fight went down to the wire between Hamilton and his then main challenger, Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

The latter prevailed, but Horner believes that Hamilton's on track rivalry with Verstappen is unfolding on a different level this year.

"I think, inevitably, there’s always going to be an evolution," the Red Bull team boss told The Guardian.

"Lewis has had an amazing career and he’s still in fantastic form. He’s still a titan of the sport.

"The fact that Max is able to go toe-to-toe with him is probably something Lewis hasn’t had throughout his career – certainly through the championship years.

"There’s nothing with this degree of intensity.

"There’s obviously a lot at stake for him as he’s going for a record-breaking eighth championship, Max is going for his first and he knows he’s got many more years to come."

Should Verstappen triumph at the end of the season in Abu Dhabi, it would mark the fifth title conquered by a Red Bull driver in F1, with Sebastian Vettel clinching four consecutive crowns between 2010 and 2013.

But Horner admitted that winning the title this year would be Red Bull's "biggest achievement" yet given the unwavering hegemony enjoyed by Mercedes in the sport.

"It will be our biggest achievement," he said. "If you look at the strength of Mercedes, and the dominance they’ve had, it’s clear that nobody’s come near them for years.

"No one has put them under this kind of pressure at this stage of the season.

"So it will be an enormous achievement if we pull it off."

  • Read also: Perez predicting 'stronger performance' for Red Bull in Austin

The Briton also underscored how this year's campaign has been made more difficult by events unfolding off the track, with Horner alluding to Mercedes incessant "campaigning" against Red Bull's 2021 car.

"Compared to the championship years when we were competing with Ferrari and McLaren from 2010 to 2013 this has been very different," explained Horner.

"There is an awful lot more going on behind the scenes, constant campaigning of the FIA with all aspects of our car.

"You have to defend yourself if you come under attack as we have from the very beginning of the year – whether it was the concept of the aerodynamics with the FIA to pit stops to other aspects of the chassis, you name it."

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Source : F1 i More   

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Pirelli: COTA track surface 'a question mark for everyone'

Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola says teams will kick off their US Grand Prix weekend with little information... The post Pirelli: COTA track surface 'a question mark for everyone' appeared first on F1i.com.

Pirelli: COTA track surface 'a question mark for everyone'

Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola says teams will kick off their US Grand Prix weekend with little information about COTA's resurfaced track regarding tyre wear.

Formula 1's exclusive tyre supplier has nominated for Austin the three compounds in the middle of its range - the C2 hard, C3 medium and C4 soft rubber, a selection theoretically well suited to the wide range of demands imposed by the Texan circuit.

However, since F1 last visited Austin in 2019, the Circuit of the Americas has been resurfaced, and travel restrictions due to the global pandemic prevented Pirelli's engineers from measuring the roughness of the new asphalt.

All preliminary data is therefore based on information collected in 2019, which means that teams will be heading a bit into the unknown the action begins on Friday.

"Although the teams have quite a lot of experience of Austin, this year they face a track that has changed a bit compared to 2019, when we last raced here," explained Isola.

"Around 40% of the track has been resurfaced, but due to COVID-19 restrictions we were not able to send our personnel to analyse the new asphalt, so its characteristics are a question mark for everyone and we will only discover the final effects on tyres and car performance in general when we are there.

"As usual, the tyre nomination was done based on data obtained before the race, with the compounds in the middle of the range well-suited to the circumstances.

"With the championship battle so finely poised as we enter the final few races of the season, it's clear that every element of strategy will count – as we saw at the last race in Turkey."

  • Read also: Gasly fears COTA bumps will 'complicate' F1 weekend

Lack of preliminary tyre data is perhaps a secondary concern for teams and drivers who are fearing a bumpy ride around COTA following complaints expressed earlier this month by MotoGP riders.

FIA race director Michael Masi has said that US Grand Prix organisers have undertaken grinding work to smooth out depressions in the track's surface in several areas, but only Friday's opening practice session will reveal the extent of the improvements.

Finally, the weather in Texas is often unpredictable at this time of the year, with competitors facing the risk of cool temperatures or rain in the region.

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The post Pirelli: COTA track surface 'a question mark for everyone' appeared first on F1i.com.

Source : F1 i More   

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