“We could see something similar to this weekend”– Lewis Hamilton claims that Red Bull will be the favourites in Austria.
Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes had no answer to the Red Bull’s strategy in the last three Grand Prix, and are now wary of the further challenges that are coming to them in Austria.
Speilberg is technically Red Bull’s home, and they have given impressive performances in the current hybrid era. Moreover, seeing the present attributes of the Milton-Keynes-based team, Hamilton has already called them the favourites.
“It’s a power-hungry circuit, got those long long straights so we could see something similar to this weekend, obviously with the straight-line speed of the Red Bull,” Hamilton told RacingNews365.com.
“But we’ve got three days to try and see if we can make any adjustments and improvements and maybe if we maximize absolutely everything maybe we can give them a run for their money.”
No guarantee of Red Bull finishing at the top
Meanwhile, Verstappen is not ready to fall into Hamilton’s bluff, and expect a close battle in Austria. The Dutchman is currently with a 12 point lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ standings.
“I’m looking forward to it, first of all, of course, because it’s like a home Grand Prix,” the Dutchman said. “We’ve had good results in the past but it’s not a guarantee.”
“We have to again set up the car well there and read the conditions well. I don’t know what the weather is going to be like so I’m looking forward to it. I’m for sure expecting it to be close again but yeah, we’ll find out when we are there.”
Both Verstappen and Hamilton have won two races each in Austria ever since the circuit was recalled in 2014, after a long absence from the calendar for 10 years.
Last year also the Red Bull ring hosted two races in the pandemic ravaged season, where both races were won by Mercedes.