Horner expects "grandstand start" to US GP with Verstappen/Hamilton front row

Red Bull Formula 1 team boss Christian Horner predicts a "grandstand start" in Sunday's US Grand Prix after title rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton qualified on the front row.

Horner expects "grandstand start" to US GP with Verstappen/Hamilton front row

Red Bull's Verstappen narrowly beat Hamilton and Mercedes to pole in Saturday's qualifying session, with the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez starting third as Verstappen's rear gunner.

Verstappen and Hamilton starting side-by-side is a tantalising prospect after what happened earlier this season between the two rivals.

The pair have made contact on several occasions, leading to a high-speed accident for Verstappen in Silverstone and a DNF for both in Monza.

The steep uphill run to Turn 1 at the Circuit of the Americas allows for different racing lines to be taken but also provides scope for the inside car to push a competitor wide, which Hamilton did to Nico Rosberg in 2015.

Red Bull chief Horner acknowledges that the start will be crucial on Sunday given how hard it is to overtake around Austin's COTA and is predicting fireworks in the run up to Turn 1.

"I think that it's tough to follow here, so you definitely want to lead into Turn 1," Horner told Sky Sports F1.

"I think it's going to be a grandstand start up there at Turn 1. At least we've got two guys starting at the front of the field."

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, arrives in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, arrives in Parc Ferme after Qualifying

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

COTA's main overtaking spot is Turn 11, which comes after a kilometre-long DRS straight.

That could prove extra significant given Mercedes' straightline advantage on Red Bull, which worried Horner earlier in the weekend.

But Horner believes that if Verstappen nails the start, he can get out of Hamilton's range.

"I think it's pretty tough to follow in these cars, so if we can get a clean sector one, you hope by the time you get to Turn 11 you've got that little bit of a gap.

"That's going to be going to be crucial. If Max can see the yellow helmet of Sergio in his mirrors, I think he'd be a lot happier with that."

When asked about the prospect of Hamilton hounding him at the start, Verstappen said he was not worried about what could happen.

"I think we just have to focus on ourselves, try to do a good race and try to be as fast as we can," he told Sky Sports F1.

"I’m not worried what happens behind me I just have to focus on myself." 

shares
comments

Related video

F1 United States Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch & more
Previous article

F1 United States Grand Prix – Start time, how to watch & more

Next article

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert
Load comments
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Plus

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great Plus

How Surtees became an unappreciated Ferrari great

John Surtees and Enzo Ferrari parted ways amicably but could have achieved more together. On the weekend that Formula 1 makes its bow in Qatar, a country best-known for staging bike racing, NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the career of the formidable ‘Big John’ - the first man to achieve success at the highest level on two and four wheels

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2021