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Amidst predictions of "carnage", Horner seeks synchronised approach to Turn 1

NEWS STORY
28/10/2018

A year ago, just three turns into the race, in his efforts to pass Sebastian Vettel, who had in turn lost out to Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton made a move on the German which saw contact and resulted in both cars suffering damage. Though both were able to continue, the Briton dropped down the order and eventually finished a distant ninth, though enough to secure the title.

Ahead of today's race, Toto Wolff has admitted that with the two title protagonists starting behind the Red Bulls, not to mention Vettel's recent record in terms of incidents, there is the potential for "carnage".

"Well the grid has the potential for carnage on the straight and through the first corners," the Austrian told reporters, "because you have the two Red Bulls who have the least straight line speed on the front row, and then it's us and then the Ferraris are obviously almost 10 kph up on everyone else.

"I try to visualise how that could look like down the straight and through the first corner," he continued, "I just hope we come out of it with two cars intact."

"Well you saw what happened last year with the red car behind, so I don't know," said Hamilton when asked if he would take a cautious approach to the first lap.

"It really depends how we get away but third place is a nice place to start because you get a good tow from the guys ahead so naturally I'm going to be fighting to at least try and gain a position but of course I'm aware of the Bulls ahead."

Asked if it might not be wiser to take a more circumspect approach at the start, he replied: "Not really. Everyone's going to be barrelling into Turn 1 to gain, so it's a very, very fine line. If you go easy, you can get hit. If you go too aggressive, you can hit or still get hit. You've got to race it like normal and go in for the win. That's what I'm going to be doing. I mean, that's what we're here to do, is to race."

Other than a strong start and no mistakes, Vettel believes his best hope against the Red Bulls is the Ferrari's reliability and the possibility of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen taking one another out.

"We have probably the best reliability so far," said the German. "With the Red Bulls, they are very fast and hard to beat, but maybe they beat themselves. We see."

Aware that his drivers have the potential to score a 1-2 today, Red Bull boss, Christian Horner, appreciates that it could all be thrown away in the first corner.

Asked how he will want his drivers to approach the first lap, he told Sky Sports: "Synchronise driving down to Turn 1 and drive as wide as you can against that Ferrari and Mercedes on the drag race down to Turn 1.

"We saw in Japan when Sebastian was behind Max, we saw Sebastian on Daniel in Austin last weekend, it is so strong in a straight line," he said of the Ferrari. "And it is the same with Lewis. They have to be more focused on what those guys are doing than too focused on themselves. We will discuss all these things in the briefing.

"They are free to race, but they have to keep it clean," he added. "The race isn't going to be won in the first corner, it is all about looking after these tyres. They are fragile as hell as we can see, and it will be about making sure we have a strategy that can stay ahead of the Ferrari and Mercedes.

"They both really want it and that is the danger," he admitted of his drivers who clashed in Azerbaijan earlier in the season. "But they are both part of a team and they need to keep that in mind."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Mexico City, here.

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1. Posted by Yeyox02, 28/10/2018 17:13

"If I were in the second row, I would let them go and have their two minutes of glory and then after the first lap I would attack them mercilessly, of course, if I had a machine ready to do it. Anyway Renault engines bolted on the red bulls will not last the full race because they have got only "saturday mode". "

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2. Posted by Elf Team Tyrrell, 28/10/2018 13:55

"Verstappen to take out Danny, Vettel and Hamilton on the second corner. Kimi to go on to win his second in two weeks. Whatever happens Red Bull will blame Renault unless they actually win and it will all be down to Red Bull and Renault wont get a mention."

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