F1 | US GP | Verstappen “not concerned” with Mercedes: “we just have to stay focused on our side”
Max Verstappen is staying focused heading into the lone star state for the United States Grand Prix and is not concerned with Mercedes’s recent performance gain in Turkey.
Max Verstappen may be leading the F1 drivers’ championship by six points ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, however, the Belgian - Dutch driver is staying practical and focused heading into the United States Grand Prix this weekend.
After Hamilton secured fifth place from eleventh position at the Turkish Grand Prix and Valtteri Bottas claimed victory, the Mercedes team seem to have found some pace in their car’s performance. Despite the slight advantage that Mercedes seems to have found in Turkey, Verstappen remains confident in his team and not concerned about the performance of the silver arrows.
In the press conference for Media Day in Austin Texas, Verstappen was directly asked if he is on a “roll” after the Turkish GP.
“Not really,” Verstappen responded. “It was all right but we know that we still have a bit of work to do, and we want to be faster, but the team result was good in Turkey; overall performance wasn’t amazing in Turkey. But we’ll try again here and see how quick we are.
Verstappen later explained how important it is to focus on what the Red Bull team can do rather than worrying about Mercedes’s performance gain in Turkey
“I mean, I’m not concerned, because there’s nothing you can do about it," he replied. "But we just have to focus on our side. I think there’s a few things we can do better, and we learned again a lot in Turkey and we’ll try to do better with our package, what we have, try to find a bit more performance,” stated the Dutchman.
Looking ahead to this weekend, Verstappen spoke highly of the track stating how “enjoyable” it is to drive with plenty of opportunities for overtaking:
“It’s been a really good track, it’s a really enjoyable track to drive; in qualifying I would say the first sector is really cool but then in the race the end of Sector 2, the beginning of Sector 3, there’s a lot of action and different lines you can take, and you definitely can overtake here – and I think that’s what makes it special,” he said.
In the past, the Circuit of the Americas track has been a circuit well suited for the Mercedes cars and Verstappen says that he has spent some extra time in the simulator to prepare for the race in Texas. The 24-year old Red Bull driver expressed some vagueness as he left matters open-ended for the upcoming race weekend.
“Different track, different tarmac, so… I did spend a bit of time on the simulator as well, everything felt all right, but yes, we’ll find out tomorrow,” he added.