MAX VERSTAPPEN enjoys a commanding 116-point advantage in the World Championship
Max Verstappen makes subtle dig at Lewis Hamilton in April
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Max Verstappen has been warned Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc could close the gap to Red Bull if they pause development on their car, according to Damon Hill. The 1996 world champion warned Red Bull could “sink into quicksand” if they stand still and do not keep upgrading their car.
It comes after reports suggest a new lighter chassis for the Red Bull has been axed despite being tipped to launch in Singapore next weekend. Speaking to the F1 Nation podcast, he said: “If you stand still, for a second in Formula 1, in this sport you are going to be swamped.
“You are literally going to sink into quicksand. So the pace for anyone, even if they are winning, the pressure is relentless.
“If they don’t do any more development now on this car, I think Ferrari and Mercedes will be all over them by the time you get to Abu Dhabi.” After the Belgian Grand Prix, Verstappen admitted the team were working on a lighter chassis to be introduced later on in the season.
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Max Verstappen has been warned he could be caught by Mercedes and Ferrari (Image: Getty)
This was understood to be around five kilograms lighter which could have shaved time off lap times. Sources have claimed the team have conducted crash tests of the new chassis at their base but is hesitant to introduce the new tool.
It could now be kept back for next year’s car in order to stay a step ahead of the opposition in 2023. However, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has denied the team were working on a new chassis and had to keep going with what they had.
He also warned Red Bull faced a difficult challenge in Singapore as he suggested Ferrari and Leclerc would likely be closer.
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Christian Horner has suggested Red Bull would not launch its lighter chassis this year (Image: Getty)
He explained: “Well I don’t know where these rumours permeate from. But no, there’s no plans to introduce a lighter chassis. So you know, we keep going. We’re in good shape.
“Singapore is a completely different challenge to here [Monza]. For sure Ferrari [are] gonna be strong there.” The Italian media has also reported Ferrari will introduce new updates in Singapore.
This will likely be an upgraded floor and new wings with a second update set to be introduced around the Mexican Grand Prix. Mercedes have also set their sights on ending on a high as they target the runners-up spots in the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship.