F1 preview: A lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix
Red Bull are hoping to venture into uncharted territory in F1 history at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton waits on the outcome of his wager on Max Verstappen. Christian Horner’s team are on the verge of completing their dominance in the history books as they look to get one over Mercedes, with Hamilton backing Verstappen and the Austrian manufacturer to continue their relentless winning streak in Sao Paulo.
The teams travel to the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace at Interlagos for the final leg of the triple header knowing that a win and a respectable points finish for their drivers would be enough to celebrate smashing at least two new records. Verstappen’s triumph in Mexico means he has now won 17 of the 20 races this season, eclipsing his previous best total of 16 from 2022, and he still has three races left to improve his tally.
Red Bull sealed their sixth constructor championship one race prior to Verstappen at the Japanese Grand Prix and are now on the cusp of setting a new the points record for an F1 team with 731 points heading into the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Verstappen himself also has something to play for, as he is only nine points away from becoming the first driver to reach the 500-point mark, while Sergio Perez will be desperate to keep P2 in the Drivers’ Championship over Hamilton.
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The current record for a single season is the 765 points Mercedes secured during the 2016 campaign, where Hamilton narrowly missed out on his fourth F1 title to team-mate Nico Rosberg. Barring a nightmare performance in the final three races, Red Bull should smash the record with flying colours as they require only 36 points – with Verstappen expected to do the heavy lifting.
Mercedes have been one of their closest challengers in recent races, as it proved at the Mexican Grand Prix when the 38-year-old claimed second place. But Hamilton has already put his money where his mouth is, wagering that Verstappen will continue his four-race winning streak by reaching 19 wins for the season, which would guarantee Red Bull snatch Mercedes’ record from their grasp.
“Last year, I think we were three-tenths behind Max in qualifying or something like that and I came second, but he walked off with the win [in Mexico].
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“So we’re really just mirroring what we did last year, so we have to make some real big changes for next year. Obviously in Bahrain earlier this year, they were 1.5s a lap faster than us, at least, so the key is to make sure that is not the case in Bahrain [for the 2024 season opener].
“Hopefully, these next couple of races will be close, but I’d probably put money on it that [Max] will get to 18, 19 [wins] with that car.”
Mercedes do have an impressive recent history around the track, however, with Hamilton recording of his most impressive victories of his career in 2021 and George Russell clinching his maiden win in F1 in Brazil last season. And the Silver Arrows will be hoping to spoil Red Bull’s party again to make it a third consecutive win, as well as grabbing their first victory of the campaign.
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