Lewis Hamilton vs Max Verstappen: Mercedes make prediction for final few races

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Mercedes are hopeful that there will still be circuits in the final weeks of the season that favour their car as they bid to beat Red Bull and Max Verstappen to the Constructors' and Drivers' championships.

The Formula 1 season this year has been superb and it is still anyone's guess as to where the two titles are going to head.

Max Verstappen, of course, has the advantage in the Drivers' standings with a 19 point gap to Lewis Hamilton but that can soon be eroded, whilst Mercedes lead the Constructors' battle by just the one point from Red Bull.

Clearly, there's still everything to play for and after the Mexico City circuit strongly favoured Red Bull, Mercedes are hoping some of the tracks left this season will instead suit their car better - though they admit Brazil might be a little tricky up next this weekend:

“It’s difficult because normally this far into the season you see the performance settle down a bit and the swings are still big,” said Mercedes’ Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovlin.

“There will be circuits that will suit us, we had very strong races in Turkey and Sochi and plenty of strong races since the summer break.

“So it will be up and down. We’ve definitely got out work cut out, on balance they are a little bit ahead of us but it’ll get affected by the weather, the track temperatures, those will play a part.

“But the bigger thing will be the circuit characteristics. It seems when we’re on an understeery track we tend to go a little bit better, and then at the last two races, it was very much about rear tyre overheating, and it’s quite clear they have the advantage when we’re in that situation.”

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"The weather inherently is very unstable there,” Shovlin said of the Brazilian GP. “You can have 50-degree track one day and it can be a washout the next.

“I think if it is a hot circuit it’ll probably move it in their direction, a bit of cloud cover may well suit us.

“But one advantage they had [in Mexico] is they were able to go up a step on downforce from the rear wing they normally run to their max downforce wing, but for us that’s the one that we run normally, it’s just their car seems to have more downforce than us on identical sized wings. And I think that played into their favour.

“In Brazil that should be less of an issue but it’s very hard to predict, and like coming here, we’ll look at the weaknesses of our car and work out how we can minimise them.”

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