Max Verstappen faces Red Bull hammer blow as `dream’ Perez replacement put forward

Helmut Marko put Horner in his place as Perez’s ‘dream’ replacement

F1 stars are expected to return to the track to rest and recover this weekend after a two-week break from competition. Max Verstappen mathematically won the title in Qatar last time out, but there is still plenty to compete for in the final five Grands Prix of the season.

For starters, competition is intensifying to take second place behind the Dutchman in the Drivers’ Championship. Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz are the only other two drivers to have won a race this year, but the ultra-consistent Lewis Hamilton is also making a play for the second step on the podium.

The Mercedes star will have another chance to put crucial points on the board in Austin this weekend. But a superb set of mid-season developments from McLaren has thrust Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri into the mix too, with race wins not out of the question.

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