Verstappen targets Schumacher and Vettel record amid cost cap fallout

By Sports Desk October 19, 2022

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen has history in his sights at the United States Grand Prix this weekend.

Crowned champion for the second successive season at the Japanese Grand Prix two weeks ago, Verstappen has the chance to further illustrate his dominance at the Circuit of the Americas.

Should he prevail in Austin, he will equal Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher as the driver with the most wins in a single F1 season with his 13th victory,

Schumacher achieved the feat in 2004 for Ferrari, with compatriot Vettel matching him nine years later for Red Bull in the 2013 campaign.

Verstappen and Red Bull will look to make it lucky 13 amid the continued fallout over their cost cap breach last season.

Last week, the FIA announced Red Bull had been found guilty of a "minor" cost cap breach and a procedural breach.

There have been no details of any prospective penalties released by the sport's governing body, however, in a letter to the FIA, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said the breach "constitutes cheating".

Brown's comments are likely to be the talk of the paddock in Texas this week, but Red Bull will look for their most emphatic riposte to come on the track.

They have won the last seven races. Only once, when they won nine in a row in 2013, have they gone on a longer run. An eighth successive victory would be the seventh-longest winning streak in F1.


FERRARI ANYTHING BUT RELIABLE

After initially threatening to produce a compelling title fight in both the drivers and constructors' championship, Ferrari have wilted miserably as Red Bull's main rivals.

Along with well-documented strategy struggles, reliability has been a big contributor to Ferrari's woes.

Carlos Sainz's form has encapsulated that point. He has retired in five of his last 16 races in the Formula One, as many as in his previous 61 appearances in the competition.

MERCEDES TO MAKE 2023 FIGHTBACK?

Lewis Hamilton has won five times in Austin but the seven-time world champion appears unlikely to challenge this year, with Mercedes still waiting for their first win of a dismal season.

Yet Hamilton is confident the Silver Arrows will bounce back next season and ensure that, unlike the much-maligned W13, their W14 car can return the dominant force of the modern era to the front of the grid.

"I think for us we know what the problems are with this car," Hamilton said. "I believe that we as a team, we've not gone from being world champions to not being able to build a good car.

"I have no doubt that we'll have a better car next year. Whether or not we've rectified every issue that we have this year, we'll find out when we get there."

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