Formula One teams will take a break this weekend before the maiden Las Vegas Grand Prix. Drivers will take stock after a triple-header of races in which Red Bull continued their domination of the 2023 season.
Max Verstappen won in USA, Mexico and Brazil to take his overall tally to a remarkable 524 points for the year. He is 266 points ahead of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who sits in second ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton may wonder which version of his W14 might turn up in Sin City next weekend. He appeared to have finally gotten over his performance issues in Mexico, finishing second behind Verstappen. But Mercedes then suffered a terrible time in Brazil, the seven-time world champion in eighth and George Russell failing to finish the race.
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Lewis Hamilton has been warned of the temperature-related problems that could be facing Mercedes and their rivals in Las Vegas next weekend.
Riccardo Musconi, head of trackside performance, said: “It’s a completely new ball game. We have tried to gather as much information as I am sure every other team has tried to.
“We have models of the track in the simulator, we have gathered other information and pictures of the tarmac and so on. The weather is going to play a big part too. It is quite cold at this time of the year in Vegas, especially [with] the sessions happening around midnight.
“We will have the softest selection of tyres in Vegas. That is adding an extra dimension to the problem. The truth is every team to some degree will venture into the unknown because we don’t have any previous data.
“The preparation work we are conducting at the factory will have to cover different dimensions, different aspects of it and more than we usually do for other tracks.”
Verstappen’s ‘extreme’ advantage
Red Bull’s RB20 will reportedly be an ‘extreme’ take on the 2023 car in which Max Verstappen has stormed to success, Racing News 365 claim.
In a major blow to the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc, Red Bull will take on many of the significant elements of the RB19 in a bid to continue their dominance.
However, Red Bull’s new vehicle will reportedly follow a different aerodynamic concept.
With wind affecting Verstappen and Sergio Perez during Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying, the pair noted feeling “very slowed down” in the RB19.
Technical chief Adrian Newey is therefore leading a design that attempts to negate that issue for 2024.
Hello and welcome to Express Sport’s LIVE coverage of Saturday’s Formula One news.
We’ll have all the latest news as teams prepare for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.
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