Hughes wavers 'scary' lead Mercedes: "Just a different engine setting"

23-10-2021 12:08 | Updated: 23-10-2021 16:16
F1 News
Hughes wavers 'scary' lead Mercedes: Just a different engine setting

In FP1 of the United States Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing seemed to be no match for title rival Mercedes. In FP2 this picture was nuanced. Renowned F1 journalist Mark Hughes dismissed Mercedes' so-called lead.

Hughes states in his review of Friday at Circuit of the Americas that it is difficult to determine who was fastest. Lewis Hamilton picked up the fastest time, but it was taken away as he drove over the track limits at Turn 9. Sergio Perez eventually took the fastest time.

Hughes wrote on "Even Hamilton's disallowed time was only 0.104s faster than Perez, indicating a) that the scary 0.9s Mercedes advantage seen in the first session was just a matter of a more aggressive engine mode than Red Bull and b) Perez is properly on the pace at the start of a weekend for the first time all season."

Verstappen can be optimistic

For Max Verstappen it wasn't the happiest of sessions on the first day. However, Hughes sees no reason for Verstappen to complain. On the contrary, looking at the bigger picture, Verstappen has reason for optimism.

"Despite his fears in Turkey, the Red Bull looks at least competitive with the Mercedes here on both long runs and short."

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