Lewis Hamilton will not give up his world crown lightly, but the seven-time Formula One champion says a thrilling title fight with Max Verstappen could be even further away in the next two races.
Hamilton outscored the impressive Dutch driver by 12 points after finishing second behind Verstappen in the United States Grand Prix on Sunday.
Normally, it’s a short break to overhaul with the next five races, but Hamilton fears a more difficult lead on the horizon with the GPs of Mexico (November 7) and Brazil (November 14). Can
“The next two tracks are definitely very strong for the Red Bull, so it’s going to be tough,” said Hamilton, who is pursuing a record eighth world title.
“I’m not thinking about it right now – be happy with what I did today and live in the moment.
“We weren’t fast enough today but I will look forward and take it one race at a time.
“There are two circuits that are strong for the Red Bull, so we will just try and minimize how strong they are compared to us and see if we can do better,” said the 36-year-old British man. Added.
Verstappen is not taking what the ninth victory in the term would be – Hamilton has five – given in Mexico.
Given that Sunday’s victory was his first in the Circuit of America, the 24-year-old’s caution may be necessary.
“Winning doesn’t give me much confidence,” Versatpan said.
“We all have confidence in the team that we can do a good job, but we need to try to make the most of our entire package and start all over again in Mexico.”
Hamilton’s greater experience may also be due to the fact that Versatopen has never been in the front-runner position for a world title, so how does he handle the pressure.
The manner in which he stopped a fast-charging Hamilton suggests that he may be able to deal with it as the title race reaches its climax.
“It’s been a tough year between the two teams and there’s no reason to think it won’t be tough in the next two races,” said Christian Horner, Worcester’s Red Bull boss.
Mercedes still leads the Red Bulls in the Constructors’ Championship (by 23 points) and Hamilton captain Tutu Wolf is not disappointed with his chances of retaining the star title.
Nor is the course a mantra for horses.
“I’m not sure if there is a pattern for which tracks suit,” he said.
“We need to be careful that we don’t go too far between mania and depression, but move forward with our understanding of the car.
“There was never a point this season when I thought: ‘We’re not going to make this (championship).’
“The general opinion (before this race) was: ‘You guys are dominating now and what are the Red Bulls going to do?’
“24 hours fast forward and vice versa.”
Austria says it will finally be decided which team delivers its car the best in five races.
“It’s about product exploitation,” he said.
“I call the car a product. How do we perform? And that’s the difference between winning and losing.”