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F1, US Grand Prix 2021: Max Verstappen Refuses to Part with Face Mask During Event ahead of Race

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (AP)

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen feels the ongoing pandemic may be the easiest way he can forfeit his claim on a maiden world title.

After thrilling his home crowd by winning the Netherlands Grand Prix last month, Max Verstappen reclaimed the Formula One championship lead from closest rival Lewis Hamilton. This was the Red Bull driver’s leading seventh win of the season and 17th of his career which moved him six points ahead of his Mercedes competitor.

Verstappen leads Hamilton by six points after 16 of 22 races and as the duo head to compete with other in the US Grand Prix on Sunday. The Formula One title contender is taking no chances ahead of the race due to Covid-19. The 24-year-old feels the ongoing pandemic may be the easiest way he can forfeit his claim on a maiden world title.

According to a DailyMail report, all the competing drivers were invited to try their hand at free throws at the Austin race track in Texas. Most joined the promotional event and like the rest Verstappen was asked to take off his mask for the task, which he politely declined. The F1 driver has not contracted Covid thus far and he knows that getting affected by it will jeopardise his title fight with Hamilton. Verstappen is taking no chances in this regard and does interviews mostly on Zoom to minimise contact with fellow human beings.

Talking about the Covid threat, Verstappen said he often tries not to think about it and goes about with his work as usual. “I cannot lock myself up at home all the time,” he added. He also mentioned that one is ‘super unlucky’ to get it and there are people who have taken all precautions and still got it and that’s why he’s being pretty rigid about it.

Meanwhile, Hamilton finished behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes dominated the opening practice session, whereas Verstappen stood third, a distant nine-tenths back.

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