Max Verstappen expects Sergio Perez help against Lewis Hamilton after grabbing US GP pole

F1: Verstappen and Hamilton verbally spar

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Max Verstappen has stated that he will need Sergio Perez to work with him in keeping Lewis Hamilton at bay in the US Grand Prix on Sunday. Red Bull came into this weekend aiming to end Mercedes’ dominance at the Circuit of Americas.

Red Bull’s last victory in Austin came back in 2013 when Sebastian Vettel was racing for them.

Since then, Hamilton has been the dominant force in America, winning four consecutive races.

Kimi Raikkonen’s win in 2018 was then followed by Valtteri Bottas last time out in 2019.

But Red Bull have closed the gap to Mercedes this year in what’s been a fascinating title battle with just a handful of races left.

Mercedes were expected to be quicker this weekend at the US Grand Prix, but Red Bull were making progress throughout practice.

And it all came together for Verstappen in the final lap of qualifying as he pipped Hamilton to pole.

Perez starts just behind Hamilton in third and Verstappen insists he will need his team-mate’s help in securing maximum points.

“It was quite exciting out there,” he said.

“In Q3 my first lap wasn’t amazing but in the final lap it also started spitting and I wasn’t sure if I was going to hang on to my time but it was enough and we put in the lap time at the end.

“But to also be P1 and P3 as a team was a very strong performance.”

He added: “I guess that’s what people like and from here onwards we hope to have a good start and then work together as a team to get the best possible result.”

Hamilton had provisional pole before Verstappen had finished his lap and there was an air of disappointment from the seven-time world champion at not securing the top spot.

“I gave it everything today – it was a bit of a struggle through qualifying,” says Lewis Hamilton. “I think from P1 onwards we kind of fell back a little bit and those guys [Red Bull] were incredibly quick.

“I was happy with my last lap, of course there’s always areas we can improve but I think that was pretty much everything we had.

“We’ll just work as hard as we can tomorrow. My mindset is to win the race.”

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