F1: Hamilton v Verstappen in numbers
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Red Bull boss Christian Horner has heaped pressure on Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton to perform to their usual standards when the British Grand Prix rolls around on Sunday. Red Bull and Verstappen have been on a fantastic run in recent weeks, extending their leads in the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships respectively.
When it comes to the British Grand Prix, nobody has been more successful than Hamilton.
The Brit holds the record with seven victories, while an eighth seems more important than ever as he must hunt down a 32-point gap between himself and Verstappen.
Hamilton is also chasing a record-breaking eighth world title, a milestone which would take him clear of Michael Schumacher at the top of the sport.
And Red Bull have piled the pressure on the Briton to maintain his fantastic form at his home circuit this weekend.
Horner said: “Since winning our last world title in 2013, the goal has always been to regain the championship and with that comes an element of pressure, as it would within any high performance sports team.
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“Mercedes have been incredibly dominant at Silverstone and if we can get close to them and challenge them for the win, that will be tremendously encouraging, especially with the upgrades they are due to bring.”
Upgrades may well be on the way for the Silver Arrows after Hamilton claimed his team were ‘miles away’ from their rivals.
Red Bull have triumphed in each of the last five Grands Prix, with Verstappen taking four wins himself.
Hamilton, meanwhile, has missed the podium in three of his last five races, which is unusually patchy form from the Brit who has been so consistent in recent years.
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Although the deficit is significant, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Hamilton can catch up, despite acknowledging that it is now ‘against the odds’.
What Hamilton doesn’t have, at present, is a team-mate at the top of his game.
Valtteri Bottas is lagging far behind the 36-year-old in the drivers’ standings, detracting from his ability to perform as an effective wingman for the title-chaser.
The Finn’s poor form has sparked constant rumours about his potential replacement with George Russell, with it looking like a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
Martin Brundle even suggested that the confirmation of the changeover in the Mercedes second seat could take place at Silverstone.
Verstappen, meanwhile, has benefitted from the improved performances of Sergio Perez who is truly growing into his role with Red Bull.
It is sure to be an intriguing battle at the top this weekend. Although Red Bull have the momentum, Mercedes have the history, and Horner is clearly not afraid to let them know that the pressure is still on.
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