Verstappen expects Hamilton to push F1 title race all the way until final grand prix – iNews

Max Verstappen expects the Formula One title race will go all the way until the final grand prix of the season.
With just six races of the calendar to go, Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton by just six points ahead of Sunday’s US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
“I don’t think we have the strength to pull away,” the Red Bull driver said.
“It will be a bit of a defence in terms of trying to keep the points lead, but Mercedes have been very strong in the past few races and it is up to us to bounce back.
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“If we have the pace in the car to win the championship, we will win the championship, and if we don’t have the pace, we won’t,” he continued. “I can only focus [on] what I can control.”
Verstappen has a strong record in Mexico City and Brazil, never finishing for Red Bull below sixth for the former and third for the latter.
The tracks in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, however, are unknowns and Hamilton has the edge in Texas, winning in five of his eight most recent appearances.
More than 140,000 fans are expected to attend this year’s grand prix, the first on American soil in two years, and will be relishing the chance to see one of the closest – and feistiest – title races in years.
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The two drivers have frequently clashed this season. In July, Verstappen was hospitalised with concussion after a 180mph collision with Hamilton on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix.
Hamilton was adjudged to be the guilty party on this occasion, but it was Verstappen who was penalised with a grid penalty after his vehicle hit Hamilton’s helmet at Monza last month.
But the 24 year-old Dutchman insists that they will both let bygones be bygones as the title race goes down to the wire.
“We have got together a few times and we were not happy with each other,” he said. “But a few races later you can see us sitting together in a press conference and laughing with each other again, and that is how racing goes.
“A lot of people look at you and rate the rivalry, but at the end of the day it is not all that bad.
“Nobody looks to get together in a race but unfortunately these things happen.
“We all have those times where we have low moments with someone, but we are human beings. We move on, and we forgive.”
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Such calm, measured comments would not have been expected from a younger Verstappen.
“It is just that you experience more things and you learn how to deal with the sport better – that is just a natural process,” he explained.
“I have been very relaxed the whole year. I cannot speak for Lewis, but from my side, there is no real extra pressure.”
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