The F1 2021 season has started with lots of surprises, with Max Verstappen on top of the drivers' standings ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Talking about constructors' championship, Red Bull have a 37-point lead over Mercedes going into a double-header at their home in Austria. The 8th and 9th race of the season will be held at the Red Bull Ring and both the championship contenders do not want the pressure of 'favourites tag'.
It could be a repeat of French GP: Hamilton
Ahead of the Steiermark Grand Prix, defending champion Lewis Hamilton admitted that it could be a repeat of what happened in France. “It’s a power-hungry circuit, got those long straights so we could see something similar to this weekend, obviously with the straight-line speed of the Red Bull," said Hamilton.
However, the 36-year-old did went on to add that if they (Mercedes) can make any adjustments and improvements and if they maximize absolutely everything, they can give Red Bull a run for their money. Notably, Mercedes finished P2 (Hamilton) and P4 (Bottas) last weekend while Red Bull got P1 (Verstappen) and P3 (Perez) in France.
We’ve had good results in past but it’s not a guarantee: Verstappen
On the other hand, championship leader Max Verstappen claimed that he is excited and looking forward to what is going to be Red Bull's home Grand Prix. While admitting that they have had some good results on that track in past, he clarified that nothing is guaranteed and it is going to be quite competitive.
Verstappen said, "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."
Interestingly, the Red Bull Ring hosted two races last year with both Mercedes drivers - Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton - winning a race each. With such a crucial double-header coming up in Austria, things are going to get quite heated in coming days both on and off the track.