Spielberg, Austria-A Formula One driver in excellent form driving a faster and faster car.

Sound familiar?

Is not Lewis Hamilton In the usually super-dominant Mercedes This time, but Max Verstappen Who seems to have found extra speed in every game Red Bull.

Verstappen has won the past two games, leading Hamilton 4-3 this season and entering the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday Grand prize, On the Red Bull’s home circuit at Spielberg.This is the same circuit Verstappen won from pole position last Sunday, Hamilton fell behind.

Verstappen is the title and poses a major threat to Hamilton, who is 18 points behind him after eight games in the fascinating season so far.

“Max is very mature and consistent when driving. We just need to continue to screw the screws,” said Christian Horner, the head of the Red Bull Racing Team. “So far, the Styrian Grand Prix is ​​our strongest and most complete performance.”

Red Bull has won four games in a row, Verstappen has won three, and the other has only won Written by Sergio Perez, veteran of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Because Verstappen’s tires burst a few laps from the finish when he was leading.

After seven years of Mercedes dominance, including six of Hamilton’s record-setting seven games F1 The championship title, Red Bull is re-emerging, becoming the force when Sebastian Vettel won four world championships in the 2010-13 season.

Now, after winning all driver and team championships since 2014, Mercedes is behind in both areas. Red Bull leads by 40 points in the team standings.Not a car since 1991 Honda The engine has won so many games in a row.

Hamilton said: “They did take a big step, but we haven’t really got the answer yet. I have full confidence in the team and we will find something in some way.”

Hamilton’s goal is to surpass Michael Schumacher He is unique among F1 greats with eight championship titles. But he needs to find a way to stop the rise of Verstappen.

The 23-year-old Verstappen was considered the youngest driver to win an F1 race when he was 18. 228 Today, 14 GP victories have been recorded. If Red Bull were more competitive in the first few seasons, he would get more.

During that time, Red Bull lacked speed and was plagued by reliability issues, only Ferrari When Vettel took the lead halfway through the 2017 and 18 seasons, Mercedes’ dominance was briefly threatened, but gradually disappeared.

In addition, except for his teammate Nico Rosberg who won the world championship five years ago and then retired, it has always been Hamilton.

Hamilton has long been the most stable driver: he performed well in qualifying with a record 100 pole positions and dominated the race with a record 98 victories.

Now Verstappen began to force himself.

In the last 11 GP matches at the end of last season, he ranked the top two in 9 games and won 5 of them.

Hamilton has won the top two in 8 of the past 11 games and won 5 victories.

Since his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas is fifth in the standings, it seems that only Hamilton can stop Verstappen.

But Verstappen knows who his opponent is, and he hopes Mercedes can fight back.

“People will learn from the things they didn’t do well,” said Verstappen, who also needs a podium to reach 50 in F1. “I want everyone to be closer, because this usually happens when you are playing back-to-back on the same track.”

Perez Milestone

10 years after his debut, Perez will participate in his 200th F1 race.

The 31-year-old Mexican driver won two victories in his 12 podium finishes.

“I can’t believe this is my 200th game,” Perez said. “It will be very special to be on the podium in our home game.”

However, his F1 career had the worst start. He was disqualified after crossing the finish line in seventh place at the opening ceremony of the Australian Grand Prix in 2011 because his rear wing was illegal. Clean.

Considering that the car was damaged and he had to withdraw from the race, the next GP in Malaysia is not much better.

After three games, he finished ninth in the Spanish Grand Prix and scored points.

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