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Verstappen-Hamilton could explode at US Grand Prix – Motorsports

Austin, Texas-The race to the first corner of the US Grand Prix on Sunday promises to be one of the most exciting moments of the 2021 F1 season to date.

This year’s sixth title rival Max Verstappen When Lewis Hamilton lining up Located in the front row of the grid, you will face the largest single corner elevation change on the calendar as you fill the throttle with a run-up towards Turn 1.

From the grid slots on the pit straight, the track climbs over 100 feet to the top of Turn 1 just over 260 yards. When they stand up at a 13.5% tilt, both drivers keep the throttle open and engage each other in a high-speed chicken game over who brakes first.

Turn 1 of COTA in 2015 was the first lap of Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg competing for the title, the moment he hit the wheel, but the fight wasn’t so close.

It is no exaggeration to say that the result of the Turn 1 duel between Verstappen and Hamilton could split Verstappen and Hamilton by just 6 points and pivot this year’s championship battle with the remaining 6 races.

Of course, the race does not always win in the first corner of the first lap. As long as both drivers are facing the right direction at the exit of Turn 1, Sunday’s Grand Prix could offer the thrill of 56 laps. Spill.

Increased tension

Friday’s practice was a fascinating dress rehearsal about what would happen on Sunday as Hamilton and Verstappen were deprived of their positions in the second practice session. In the non-competitive time of FP2, there was nothing to gain and much to lose, but both drivers appeared straight in the pits and thrilling (although completely unnecessary) dragging. Turn 1 who was willing to retreat because he completed the race.

Hamilton emerged as a victor by having an inner line, and Verstappen was hanging around to dry around the outer. The Red Bull driver was clearly not impressed, Call Hamilton a “stupid idiot” Frustratedly raise the middle finger to the Mercedes driver via the team’s radio.

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Max Verstappen is clearly not happy with Lewis Hamilton and raises his middle finger as Hamilton passes by.

Verstappen shrugged the case after Friday’s session, and Hamilton smiled his eyes on his face mask, calling it “fun and games.”

“In the beginning, I didn’t run him a lot. He decided to go outside and eventually grew up,” Hamilton said. “I can ask him, but we were fighting to the last corner.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s all a fun game. It’s fun tomorrow and it offers everything as expected. It’s not substantially different from the rest of the season.”

The practice case was harmless enough on its own, but contrary to the context of this year’s events, it exposed the underlying tension between the two drivers.

At press conferences and paddock, off-track relationships remain heartfelt, but Felstappen and Hamilton clashed on the track twice this year at the British and Italian Grand Prix. In Silverstone, Hamilton was found to be primarily responsible, but in Monza, Verstappen was found guilty.

After both accidents, the pair vowed to move on, but there is a protracted feeling that this season was still undecided in the third collision. But Verstappen has no reason to come to COTA on Sunday’s opening lap.

“”[We will approach Turn 1] As always as an expert, “he said. We are not the only ones who have come into contact with sports.

“Unfortunately this happens. We are in the front row again and I think everyone is expecting a great race. That’s what we expect as a driver and a really good race. I just want to

Hamilton, who is at a disadvantage starting from the unused side of the track, added, “I want to go through Turn 1 and have a good race. I don’t think everything is decided on Turn 1.”

2 to 1

Hamilton is right that the race doesn’t depend on the first corner, but leading on the first lap will certainly ease some of Mercedes’ concerns about strategy.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez started from 3rd place, with 2nd to 7th world champions sandwiched between two Red Bulls. Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas should have started in 4th place, but due to an engine replacement penalty he fell to 9th place on the grid.

Red Bull has an advantage in tire strategy by having two cars fight. Most teams expect to pit twice instead of once, so it could expand on Sunday.

“We know the Czech Republic [Perez] “The race is going well and qualifying is struggling this year,” said Christian Horner, principal of the Red Bull team. [since 2014] It’s another milestone for us, as Mercedes hasn’t qualified Paul here.

“It’s hard to follow here, so you’ll definitely want to go to Turn 1-and that’s definitely the start of the grandstand until Turn 1-but at least we’re in front of the field. I’m starting two guys.

“If Max could see Sergio’s yellow helmet in the mirror tomorrow, I think he would be happier.”

Meanwhile, Mercedes hopes that Hamilton’s innate ability to kill tires at race distances will help, as all teams have actually experienced overheating of the rear tires.

“This is a real limited circuit, very rough asphalt and it will be very difficult to keep the tires in a happy window, because they want to be the hot side of happy,” said Mercedes Chief Technology Officer. “. James Allison said.

“That will be the deciding factor for tomorrow’s race. A car that can keep the rear tires intact, which will almost certainly be nailed in a two-stop race, will be a thriving car.

“Best protection [against the two Red Bulls] That would be the case if we were quick. If you can create a gap behind Red Bull, you can get strategic protection from that gap.

“But obviously, 2 to 1 is a better place, so you have to rely on being quick.”

The US Grand Prix on Sunday will be streamed live on ABC at 1:30 pm Eastern Standard Time.

– Motorsports

Verstappen-Hamilton could explode at US Grand Prix

https://www.espn.com/f1/story/_/id/32461225/verstappen-hamilton-potential-explosive-us-grand-prix Verstappen-Hamilton could explode at US Grand Prix

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