Lewis Hamilton commits to Mercedes until 2025
Max Verstappen wants action to be taken at Circuit of the Americas, with the Red Bull star claiming that the track surface is better suited to a rally car. The comments will make grim reading for organisers of the Grand Prix, who had previously been praised by Lewis Hamilton for bringing a ‘legendary’ layout to the F1 calendar.
In fact, Hamilton is so fond of the United States Grand Prix that he boldly compared it with his home race. “This is right up there with Silverstone,” said the Mercedes man after qualifying on Friday. “It really is a legendary layout that I think every driver finds really tricky.”
Verstappen wasn’t quite so complimentary, despite fending off the competition to clinch his 15th Grand Prix win of the year. Addressing the track surface in his post-race press conference, he said: “It needs to be redone.
“At the moment, it feels like it’s better suited to a rally car. I’m jumping and bouncing around. In an F1 car, probably you don’t even see it as much because we are glued to the ground because of the downforce, but the bumps and jumps that we have in some places are way too much.
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“I don’t think it’s F1 level. I love this track, honestly, the layout is amazing. But we definitely need new tarmac and it needs to be a lot smoother for the coming years because we have already been asking for this for quite a few years and it’s not really been done.”
Although Hamilton waxed lyrical about the layout, he was on the same page as Verstappen in terms of the surface, although he put forward the need to address the issue in a more diplomatic fashion.
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“I like some of the bumps because it adds character to a circuit, but there are way too many,” he explained. “We’re open to discussing with them and helping them, like maybe not doing the whole thing so it costs a fortune. From the last corner to the start line, for example, that’s smooth, but then the rest of it is bumpy. But there are other areas that they could patch up.”
Hamilton took the fight to Verstappen on Sunday, crossing the finish line only two seconds behind the reigning three-time world champion before being rocked by a disqualification.
The 38-year-old’s Mercedes was declared illegal for excessive wear on the underfloor skid blocks, denying him the valuable points that came with an impressive P2 finish. Lando Norris was bumped up to second place as a result.
Drivers have only a matter of days to dust themselves down ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix this weekend – the second instalment in an action-packed triple-header.
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