Why 13 could be lucky number for Max Verstappen, Honda at US Grand Prix

  • Max Verstappen, who has already secured his second world championship title, is aiming for a record winning streak in Austin this weekend.
Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates winning the season's world championship after his victory at the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix on October 9. (AFP)
Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates winning the season's world championship after his victory at the Formula One Japanese Grand Prix on October 9.

When Max Verstappen takes to the track in his Honda Red Bull livery this weekend, the Mercedes team will be counting its luck. The Dutch world champion, who has already secured his second successive title by winning in Japan, will aim a record 13th win this season - a feat only achieved by two former drivers from the German racing team. If Verstappen takes the chequered flag at the end of the US Grand Prix, he will join the elite list of Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, who hold the joint record of most wins in a single season of Formula One championship.

Verstappen's win this weekend would also end Mercedes' dream run for eight years as the constructors' champion giving Honda Red Bull its first title since 2013. This would also be Honda's first double title since 2013 when Vettel won his final championship. "That is the next target and I'm going to give it everything I have, of course, to make sure that we're going to win that one as well," said Verstappen.

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Honda is currently placed 165 points ahead of Ferrari, placed at second. The remaining races will not offer more than 147 points, which would literally seal the constructors' title much ahead of the season's last race. For Ferrari to stay in the hunt, it needs to score 19 points more than Red Bull this weekend.

Mercedes team has remained winless this season, with both seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton and new recruit George Russell not firing up to their potential. Andrew Shovlin, trackside engineering director for Mercedes team, said, "If we can make a step, hopefully, we can get into the fight with the Ferraris and the Red Bulls."

All eyes will be on the Honda camp this weekend, as celebrations are likely to start much before the season ends in Abu Dhabi. For a change, 13 could be a luck number for both Verstappen and Red Bull.

First Published Date: 20 Oct 2022, 17:54 PM IST
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