Red Bull suffer blows at US Grand Prix with Max Verstappen complaints

F1 preview: A lap at the United States Grand Prix

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Red Bull have suffered a double blow ahead of the United States Grand Prix in a weekend the team can wrap up the Constructors’ Championship. Sergio Perez was handed a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race as Max Verstappen complained over team radio in FP1.

The issues could derail the team’s bid to secure its first teams’ title since 2013. Perez was handed a five-place grid drop after taking on a new internal combustion unit for the fifth time this season.

The FIA said the penalty was imposed in coordination with Article 28.3 of the sporting code. However, Verstappen was also unhappy in FP1 after struggling with his car.

The new champion was still quick enough for P2 in the session but took to team radio to admit he was not comfortable with the package. He said: “I think there is something wrong with the car because I don’t have a front end in slow corners.”

Red Bull will secure the team’s championship if they leave Austin with a 147-point lead over Ferrari. The team currently have a 165-point lead so Ferrari would need an 18-point swing to delay the party to Mexico.

However, Red Bull may not be the only team set to be plagued with issues as rumours suggest Ferrari may also take on grid penalties. Reports suggest Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz could also take on new power units in Austin although this is yet to be confirmed.

If true, this would also hand the team a major boost in its bid to secure the team’s crown this weekend.

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Verstappen addressed his team’s title bid ahead of the weekend, admitting securing the crown was “very important”. However, the Dutchman hinted he was “not too stressed” about wrapping it up this weekend as there are still a handful of races to go.

He explained: “Yeah, I mean we are of course going to try to win it here. “I think it’s of course very important to us to win that title, but on the other hand it needs to go severely wrong for the last few races not to win that one – so I’m not too stressed about it.” Red Bull are also facing further scrutiny over breaching F1’s budget cap rules last season.

Christian Horner is understood to be demanding talks with FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem before plans to outline Red Bull’s stance.

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