This weekend at the Mexican Grand Prix, Max Verstappen will attempt to set a record by defeating Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez in front of his enthusiastic home fans.
The 25-year-old world champion, whose victory in Texas last Sunday clinched the constructors’ world championship for Red Bull 24 hours after the death of team founder and co-owner Dieter Mateschitz, is seeking a historic 14th victory of the season.
He currently shares the record of 13 victories in a year with two Germans, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, but he is aware that another triumph, especially at Perez’s expense, may derail a celebrated celebration.
The well-liked Mexican, who has won twice for Red Bull this season – on the streets of Monaco and Singapore – would relish a third victory and his long-awaited maiden victory on home soil, but he acknowledges that it will not be easy.
He stated that he is aware that Verstappen should and will race to win even though it is a meaningless race in terms of the two main championships for Red Bull, whose own celebrations may be muted when the penalty for their 2021 over-spending is finally announced.
He stated, “I do not want to receive anything.” “I have accomplished everything without gifts for so many years that I no longer consider it.
“This is my job. This weekend, I intend to be flawless and compete for the victory.”
He rejected suggestions that Verstappen might repay him for his role in holding up Lewis Hamilton in Abu Dhabi last year, when Verstappen controversially won his first world championship.
“In the end, I believe it to be normal. “We all desire victory,” said Perez.
“I have no doubt that, if the circumstances change and he requires a different kind of assistance, he will do it just as I have in the past.”
In magnificent form, Verstappen indicated that he intends to win the race.
“Well, he knows what he must do to finish second — he must beat Charles (Leclerc),” he said.
As a team, we strive to finish first and second, and as a driver, I want to win more races.
– Fight for second place –
Putting aside personal and national pride, Perez is also competing to finish second in the drivers’ championship behind Verstappen.
He sits third, two points behind Ferrari’s Leclerc, before of Sunday’s fiery race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, where he finished third in a close race behind Verstappen and Hamilton last season.
The circuit’s altitude of 2,240 meters guarantees dramatic and unforgettable races, with the thin air taxing the cooling requirements of the cars’ engines and brakes as well as influencing their power output and downforce levels.
Mercedes, showing signs of closing the gap on Red Bull, may present and race with a revised front wing design that caused a commotion last weekend and prompted a “discussion” with the stewards.
Andrew Shovlin, director of trackside engineering, explained that the crew lacked parts for two vehicles in Austin.
“These parts are more readily available in Mexico,” he continued. The goal at this time is to race with that wing, so we will test it on Friday to ensure everything is functioning as intended.
The Silver Arrows, dethroned as champions by Red Bull after eight consecutive victories, seek to finish the season strongly.
Hamilton is currently winless for the first time in a season as he attempts to add to his record 103 triumphs.
After Mexico, he will have two more opportunities in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, where the season will conclude the following month. However, a third victory in Mexico, where Verstappen has already won three times, would be gratifying – albeit unpopular with the locals.
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