British F1 driver Lewis Hamilton says the only way for Mercedes to keep up with Max Verstappen and team Red Bull in the championship race for 2021 will be for him to win this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Currently trailing Verstappen by 19 points, Hamilton this week admitted he can’t afford to lose any more to the quick-flying Dutchman. Every remaining race is a must-win contest, said the Brit, while adding that right now, it’s a challenge that has become as steep as it can possibly be.
But while certainly a mountain waiting to be scaled, Verstappen has been insisting that “anything can happen”. The Dutchman said he had no intention of taking his 19-point lead for granted. He said he had previously seen a 32-point lead disappear into thin air earlier on in the season, which made him realise that things tend to change even in a very short space of time.
Hamilton again came with a backlash of excuses for Mercedes’ slow performance this year. Not for the first time, he made known his opinion regarding rule changes he claims had been rolled out specifically for pegging Mercedes back. He said even the car itself has proved harder to optimise under the new rules, which has essentially meant a clipping of the wings for Mercedes.
F1 will in the meantime this weekend be staging its third and final trial of the new sprint race format. The qualification round will take place on Friday, with the sprint set to decide the grid for Saturday’s race.
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