Wednesday July 28, 2021
Verstappen tests for 24 hours
Is the title fight escalating in Budapest?
The Silverstone crash has not yet been fully resolved. Lewis Hamilton continues to face a tougher sentence. The Formula 1 circus has already arrived in Budapest. The most exciting title fight in years continues in Hungary. How will Max Verstappen react?
In scorching hot Budapest, the bitter Formula 1 title fight is about to boil. In the tense climate after the 1.5 million euro crash at Silverstone, Red Bull even dragged Mercedes’ rivals in front of the race stewards. The hope: a subsequent and harsher punishment for Lewis Hamilton. “Everyone has their own opinion on the events at Silverstone and it was a very polarizing incident,” said Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff in the preview of the Silver Arrows.
The hearing takes place on this Thursday afternoon via video conference. Colleague Christian Horner, who missed few opportunities to put the Mercedes team in the role of the bad winner after Hamilton’s victory at Hamilton’s home race, will also be there. Should he and his crew not be able to present any new evidence against Hamilton, the matter would be settled quickly – at least before the race stewards.
On the track, she will undoubtedly continue to compete for the entire season in the tough World Cup duel between the still untitled 23-year-old Max Verstappen and the 36-year-old seven-time world champion Hamilton. The summer break after the Grand Prix in the Puszta will not change that either. “The team can take care of the official things and everything that still needs to be done after the accident,” said Verstappen: “My job is the same as usual: I give my best and try to win on Sunday.”
Verstappen’s 24-hour test
In order to test his fitness after the heavy impact with 51g, Verstappen even completed a 24-hour simulation race. “It was a good test to see how my body reacts to sitting in one position and behind a screen for a long time,” emphasized the Dutchman, who has the chance of the long-awaited first title this season. His racing car works on almost all tracks, and on the near-go-kart track northeast of Budapest it should be really fast.
“The course is likely to suit our competitors better than us,” Wolff admitted. Nevertheless: Hamilton is the record winner on the circuit, which has had a regular place in the Formula 1 racing calendar since 1986. The Briton won eight times in Hungary, most recently three times in a row. If he succeeds again in a second place for Verstappen – as in the previous year – Hamilton also needs the counter for the fastest race lap to draw level with Verstappen on points. Before the eleventh race of the season, the Dutchman was leading by eight points, with five he won half of the Grand Prix that year, Hamilton won four times. Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez (Baku) triumphed once.
The accident at Silverstone, when Hamilton touched Verstappen’s car with his car in such a way that it lost control and crashed into the tire wall with force, made the already charged duel between the two and their racing teams even worse. Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko, particularly well-versed in the verbal attack department, had already requested a suspension for Hamilton. Horner recently followed suit in his column on the team’s homepage and referred to Hamilton as the “aggressor”.
The Briton celebrated his 100th career victory in Hungary. Ultimately, it was a generation duel, said ex-world champion and Hamilton conqueror Nico Rosberg on Sky Sports F1 and predicted: “They will both not leave an inch of space.”