Mercedes may be the favourites in Austin, but Max Verstappen is confident Red Bull will be able to challenge them there.
The Red Bull driver currently leads the World Championship by just six points, and many think that he will be overtaken at the next round.
The German team have dominated at the Circuit of the Americas since it was added to the F1 calendar in 2012, winning all but two races.
Of those six wins, five have come courtesy of Lewis Hamilton, and he’s widely expected to take a sixth when he heads there in a few weeks, especially given Mercedes’ improved straight-line speed.
The past results there as well as that speed make Hamilton and co favourites, but Verstappen remains hopeful that he and Red Bull will be able to put up a fight.
“I think it’s been close the whole year,” he told reporters after the last race in Turkey.
“And I’m pretty sure again in Austin it will be a good battle with Mercedes.
“So we just have to keep on pushing, trying to improve and then we will see where we end up at the end.”
Check out all the latest Max Verstappen merchandise via the official Formula 1 store
I’m very pleased with P2️⃣! It was not easy to manage the tyres the whole race, but we maximized the result. Together with @SChecoPerez on the podium caps off a good day for the team 🤜🤛 #KeepPushing #TurkishGP 🇹🇷 pic.twitter.com/a1n9a9nEMB
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) October 10, 2021
The track isn’t the only one of the final six of the season that, on paper at least, favours Mercedes.
While the Red Bull will most likely have the edge in Mexico and Brazil given its strength in high altitudes, the three Middle Eastern circuits that will close out the year are all arguably more suited to the Mercedes.
That being said, two of them are very much unknown quantities with the races in Qatar and Saudi Arabia being the first to take place at the respective venues.
Verstappen is expecting a few tracks to suit his car more than the one in Austin, and is hoping that will be the case at the majority of them.
“I think maybe at some other tracks we can maybe be a bit better, but it’s never going to be very easy,” said the Dutchman.
“The whole year already has been quite close, of course. Sometimes it looked like maybe we were a bit better but then sometimes also they were quite quick.
“I just hope that from the remaining races there are a few tracks, of course, or more than half, are better for us but we’ll find out.”
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