Lando Norris reveals the advice Lewis Hamilton gave him
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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Max Verstappen has the edge over title rival Lewis Hamilton at this weekend’s United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
Verstappen and Hamilton have gone head-to-head all season at the top of the standings, however it is the former who heads into the race in the States ahead.
The Dutchman leap frogged Hamilton into top spot two weeks ago, after finishing second at the Turkish Grand Prix – whilst the Englishman finished fifth – and thus opened up a six-point lead at the top.
Victory in Texas would only consolidate the 24-year-old’s place at the top of the standings, and boss Horner believes this could well be the case as he expects the Mercedes high-trick suspension to be limited due to the Texan track layout.
Speaking to Sky Sports he said: “It’s not quite as extreme as what we saw in Istanbul [the Turkish GP] but you can certainly see that it’s something they are still using.
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“The high-speed nature of some of the corners here limit its use to some extent. But they’re obviously making good use of it.”
As well as dominating the driver standings, both Mercedes and Red Bull are leading in the constructor leaderboard, but after some question marks the two teams seem happy with their opponent’s cars.
As a result, Horner had been extremely complimentary of Mercedes’ ‘straight-line speed’ during the last outing in Istanbul.
He added: “It doesn’t appear to [contravene the rules], so we don’t have an issue with it.
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“There were obviously some straight-line speeds at the last race that were quite eye watering, and I think with further analysis we were able to understand how they were achieving that at that type of circuit.”
Whilst Hamilton could only finish fifth in Turkey, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas went on to win the race as he dominated from start to finish to pick up his first win of the season.
And, Horner continued to praise the power shown by the team which helped them pick up the win in the Turkish capital.
He continued: “It’s significant, 90 per cent of it is down the straight. Are they just running a higher engine mode or is it the system that they’re activating now?”
Despite successes last time out things will not be so simple this time round, as Bottas was forced to take a five-place grid penalty for fitting a sixth internal combustion engine this campaign.
Horner then had his say on his title rival’s engine issues: “It’s not usual for them to run their engines as hard as they have.
“They’re running them harder, there’s a significant difference in straight-line speed. It’s not just down to the engine, they’ve dropped their rear height in Turkey.
“We’ve just got to make sure we get the best out of our car and I think there’s more performance to come.”
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