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Max Verstappen switches focus back to track amid continuing Silverstone crash saga

29/07/21

The Dutchman is after his first victory in Hungary.

Max Verstappen is keen to ensure his focus does not drift from the task at hand as the events of the British Grand Prix continue to hang over the Formula 1® title race.

Verstappen still leads the way in 2021 but saw his advantage cut to eight points at Silverstone after a first-lap crash.



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The Red Bull superstar was involved in an incident with rival Lewis Hamilton, who remained on the track, served a 10-second penalty and won the race.

Verstappen fumed at a perceived lenient punishment at the time and Red Bull have since pursued a review.

The driver is happy to now leave that up to his team, though, as attention turns to Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

"I don't have much to say on all the media hype [around the crash] and, to be honest, I am not interested in getting involved in any of that," Verstappen said this week.

"I know what happened at Silverstone as I was in the car and obviously I feel a certain way about how my race ended, but now I'm just focusing on making sure we are the best we can be on track so we can stay ahead in the championship.

"The team can take care of the official side of things and anything that needs looking into after the crash, but my job is the same as always – to be the best I can and try to win on Sunday."

Verstappen described himself as "a little bruised" but "feeling good" heading to Hungary.

The Dutchman added he "enjoys Hungary as a track", yet this is an event Hamilton has dominated, having won six of the past nine races in Hungary, including the most recent three in a row.

Indeed, as Verstappen waits on his first victory at the Hungarian GP, a ninth for Hamilton would take him past Michael Schumacher for the outright most ever at a single circuit.


LAST TIME OUT

The 2021 British Grand Prix will not be forgotten about in a hurry.

Verstappen won the inaugural sprint race in qualifying and then, very briefly, looked on course to do the same on the Sunday.

He protected his advantage from pole only as far as Copse Corner on the first lap before a clip from Hamilton took out the Red Bull's tyre.

A 40-minute red flag stoppage followed as the two teams offered contrasting views on the incident, described by Christian Horner as "dirty driving".

Hamilton was able to resume with only the 10-second penalty and was still in contention in fourth after serving his punishment.

The defending champion reeled in Lando Norris, benefited from a switch with team-mate Valtteri Bottas and then finally caught Charles Leclerc.


WHAT TO EXPECT IN HUNGARY

A response, of course! As he has made clear, Verstappen was not enamoured by events last time out and will be determined to hit back.

The opportunity to show off his Red Bull's pace is likely to appeal far more than another dogfight, though. Silverstone offered evidence of how that can go wrong for Verstappen.

Until heading to the United Kingdom, he had been in scintillating form, blowing Mercedes away with three wins on the bounce.

There is intrigue behind the two leading men, too, with Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr finally starting to show again they are capable of mixing it with Norris, Bottas and Sergio Perez.


TOP FIVE STATS

Closing in – After five races without a win, Hamilton's victory last time out was his 99th in F1®. Just as he was the first to a century of pole positions, 100 wins would break new ground.

Briton's breakthrough – It would be fitting if Hamilton did reach that milestone in Hungary, where he claimed his first Mercedes triumph back in 2013. That was his only Silver Arrows success prior to the hybrid era.

Pole pursuit – Hamilton will hope for a better Saturday to improve his chances of victory. Mercedes have not claimed pole in their past six races, their second-worst such stretch of the hybrid era.

Ferrari frustration – Mercedes' issues pale in comparison to Ferrari's. Leclerc was denied by Hamilton's fightback at Silverstone and the Scuderia will be 34 without a win if they fail again this weekend. That would tie their second-worst streak ever.

Streaky McLarens – Norris' run of earning points in 15 successive grands prix is the best run in McLaren's history. Meanwhile, team-mate Ricciardo has finished 26 straight races, the eighth-longest sequence ever in F1®.


CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 185
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 177
3. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 113
4. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 108
5. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 104

Constructors

1. Red Bull – 289
2. Mercedes – 285
3. McLaren – 163
4. Ferrari – 148
5. AlphaTauri – 49