Red Bull hoping to break Lewis Hamilton’s ‘stronghold’ at high-altitude races

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Red Bull principal Christian Horner is hoping the higher altitude in Mexico and Brazil will provide the chance to break Lewis Hamilton’s “stronghold” as the Formula 1 season approaches its nail-biting climax. 

Max Verstappen retook the lead in the drivers’ standings by six points in Turkey after finishing second, with a grid penalty leaving Hamilton trailing in fifth. The Mercedes car still seemed stronger than the Red Bull, though, with Valtteri Bottas claiming victory at Istanbul Park. 

Horner admitted it will be difficult to derail Mercedes in the US, with Hamilton boasting an impressive record of five victories in Texas, but hopes Mexico and Brazil can be critical turning points in the championship. 

“I think we know the next race in Austin has been a Hamilton stronghold for quite a few years now.

“But then Mexico and Brazil, hopefully, the higher altitude races tended to be quite strong for us in the past, and then not really sure what to expect in the last three.

“It is going to be fascinating but we are going to have to be at the very top of our game.”

The constructors’ championship is also set to go down to the wire, with Red Bull currently trailing Mercedes by 36 points after Verstappen and Sergio Perez both made the podium in Turkey. 

“We managed to extract the maximum we possibly could,” Horner continued. “Good execution of pit stops, good strategy, we got the calls right on the pit wall and with the drivers so that was a positive but certainly the venue [was] strong for Mercedes on outright pace.”

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