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Formula 1 in Austin: Verstappen with driver greeting to Hamilton

The eagerly awaited thriller at the USA Formula 1 GP in Texas begins on the very first day with a duel in the best Western style: World Cup rivals Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen come dangerously close in the fight for free travel for a fast lap. First, Verstappen overtook Hamilton in turn 15, but in the target corner the Brit countered and pushed Verstappen off the track.

The Dutchman does not give in, but remains on the outside lane in turn one and scolds the radio in the direction of Hamilton: “Stupid idiot!” While Verstappen’s engineer tries to calm his pilot down, the Red Bull star sends a finger afterwards. After training, Verstappen said: “Actually, we should all queue up. I don’t really know what was going on.”

Experience Formula 1 with the SKY Supersport Ticket

Verstappen’s tirade is not over even after the Hamilton incident. The World Cup leader got stuck in traffic several times, loudly expressing his frustration on the radio: “Damn it, why do I always have traffic,” cursed Verstappen, before breaking off another attempt one lap later, exasperated: “I’ll arrive the box, fuck it! “

In the end, the Red Bull star only had the eighth best time to book without qualifying simulation. “I didn’t manage to get a lap together on the soft tires. Overall, it wasn’t easy to find a compromise with the undulating track. But there are also positive things, the car didn’t feel bad,” reports Verstappen.

As in the race: Hamilton pushes rival Verstappen

The fact that the cross-comparison of the title rivals on Friday fails in terms of time is not only due to Verstappen. Hamilton’s theoretical best time of 1: 34.842 minutes is also withdrawn from the Briton for exceeding the route limits in turn 19. At the end of the day, the best time went to Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull in 1: 34.946 minutes, while Hamilton was waved off in third behind McLaren driver Lando Norris.

“Generally it was a good day, but we still have work to do,” commented the seven-time world champion. “The first practice session was a very good session. But then we made a few changes, so I wasn’t that happy in the second practice. The pace wasn’t that bad, but we lost something compared to Red Bull.” Above all, the strong performances over a fast lap make Mercedes a clear favorite in Austin.

Formula 1 in the overview at SKY Q

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff also proved on Friday that the tone is still rougher in the close world championship fight. When asked about the performance gain of his team in the engine – insiders have suspected a performance gain through ventilation valves in the internal cooling – the Viennese reacts thin-skinned: “You get fed quite a lot of bullshit,” says Wolff to Sky reporters and gives more than that that Mercedes won their time compared to Red Bull not only on the straights but especially in fast corners.

However, one thing is clear: as good as Mercedes’ engine performance is, the reliability problems of the unit are just as great. On Friday it will be announced that Valtteri Bottas will have to change his combustion engine again and will have to move back five places on the starting grid.

Former world champion Jenson Button believes: “This is the first time since the beginning of the turbo-hybrid era (for the 2014 season; d. Red.) That Mercedes has had such serious problems with durability. You should get through the season with three engines “It’s already the sixth at Valtteri! That can still be a problem for you, after all, there are still six races left.”

Mercedes is fast, but the engine is worrying

As an Aston Martin driver, Sebastian Vettel also falls victim to Mercedes’ misery. After changing the engine, the German has to start from the back of the field in Austin, as does George Russell from the other Williams customer team. Vettel finished the two training sessions on Friday in positions 14 and 15.

Compatriot Mick Schumacher can, however, feel like seven-time world champion Hamilton: Because he too is abused by a Red Bull driver on the radio after the German overlooks Sergio Perez in the rearview mirror in the first session and easily collides with the Mexican. The two fighters are then summoned to the stewards, but there are no consequences. After 19th place in the first session, Schumacher improved in the second session and finished 17th in front of both Williams.

Formula 1 Grand Prix of the USA
2. Free practice:

1. Sergio Perez (Mexico) – Red Bull 1: 34.946 min.
2. Lando Norris (Great Britain) – McLaren +0.257 sec.
3. Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) – Mercedes +0.364
4. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) – Mercedes +0.414
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) – McLaren +0.511
6. Lance Stroll (Canada) – Aston Martin +0.615
7. Charles Leclerc (Monaco) – Ferrari +0.626
8. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Red Bull +0.878
9. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) – Ferrari +0.973
10. Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) – Alfa Romeo +1,192
11. Esteban Ocon (France) – Alpine +1.212
12. Pierre Gasly (France) – Alpha Tauri +1.296
13. Fernando Alonso (Spain) – Alpine +1.430
14. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) – Alfa Romeo +1,612
15. Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim) – Aston Martin +1.772
16. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) – Alpha Tauri +2,037
17. Mick Schumacher (Gland / Switzerland) – Haas +2,095
18. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) – Williams +2,308
19. George Russell (Great Britain) – Williams +2,544
20. Nikita Masepin (Russia) – Haas +3,080

Formula 1 Grand Prix of the USA
1. Free practice:

1. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) – Mercedes 1: 34.874 min.
2. Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) – Mercedes +0.045 sec.
3. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Red Bull +0.932
4. Charles Leclerc (Monaco) – Ferrari +1.460
5. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) – Ferrari +1,634
6. Pierre Gasly (France) – Alpha Tauri +1.737
7. Sergio Perez (Mexico) – Red Bull +1.924
8. Lando Norris (UK) – McLaren +1.981
9. Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) – Alfa Romeo +2,000
10. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) – Alfa Romeo +2.001
11. George Russell (Great Britain) – Williams +2.092
12. Esteban Ocon (France) – Alpine +2.096
13. Lance Stroll (Canada) – Aston Martin +2,098
14. Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim) – Aston Martin +2.108
15. Fernando Alonso (Spain) – Alpine +2.194
16. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) – McLaren +2,584
17. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) – Williams +2,589
18. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) – Alpha Tauri +3,080
19. Mick Schumacher (Gland / Switzerland) – Haas +3,992
20. Nikita Masepin (Russia) – Haas +7,365

Driver rating
Stand after 16 of 22 races

1. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Red Bull 262.5 pts.
2. Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) – Mercedes 256.5
3. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) – Mercedes 177.0
4. Lando Norris (Great Britain) – McLaren 145.0
5. Sergio Perez (Mexico) – Red Bull 132.0
6. Charles Leclerc (Monaco) – Ferrari 119.0
7. Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spain) – Ferrari 116.5
8. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) – McLaren 95.0
9. Pierre Gasly (France) – Alpha Tauri 74.0
10. Fernando Alonso (Spain) – Alpine 58.0
11. Esteban Ocon (France) – Alpine 46.0
12. Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim) – Aston Martin 35.0
13. Lance Stroll (Canada) – Aston Martin 26.0
14. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) – Alpha Tauri 18.0
15. George Russell (Great Britain) – Williams 16.0
16. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) – Williams 7.0
17. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) – Alfa Romeo 6.0
18. Antonio Giovinazzi (Italy) – Alfa Romeo 1.0
19. Mick Schumacher (Germany) – Haas 0
20.Nikita Mazepin (Russia) – Haas 0

Constructors’ rating
Stand after 16 of 22 races

1. Mercedes 433.5 pts.
2. Red Bull 394.5
3. McLaren 240.0
4. Ferrari 235.5
5. Alpine 104.0
6. Alpha Tauri 92.0
7. Aston Martin 61.0
8. Williams 23.0
9. Alfa Romeo 7.0
10. Haas 0

Formula 1 on TV

Formula 1 will run at Sky in 2021. The station is setting up its own TV station for the new era: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All training sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races always live and without commercial breaks. Sky also broadcasts the Formula 2, Formula 3 and Porsche Supercup races. The program also includes historical races and special programs. You can find more information here

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