Red Bull’s rivals don’t anticipate the side encountering a repeat of the slump it endured in Singapore during the inaugural race at the Las Vegas Strip Circuit this weekend.

Formula 1’s return to Las Vegas for the first time in 41 years comes on a street circuit which could rival the top-end speeds seen at Monza and has seen the teams bring a version of their low-downforce packages.

Along with the unique circuit characteristics and the low grip track surface expected from a new addition to the calendar, the prospect of the drivers encountering the coldest conditions of the year has increased the chances of a surprise result materialising.

Red Bull have won all but one of the 20 rounds to be held so far this year, with the exception coming in Singapore when neither of the team’s drivers finished on the podium.

Although Las Vegas represents the first street circuit F1 has visited since Singapore, Lando Norris asserts Max Verstappen should be labelled the favourite for victory.

If you look back to Monza he was way quicker than everyone, pretty much so… Could be another Singapore-style type thing but unlikely,” Norris said.

Despite bagging five podiums in the past six races, Norris is still awaiting his maiden F1 win and he doesn’t expect this weekend’s unique circumstances to boost his hopes.

“There’s always a chance. Some possibilities. Small chances of rain. Things like that maybe always play into your hands at certain points – but it can go any way,” he added.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin returned to form last time out in Interlagos as Fernando Alonso pipped Sergio Perez to secure only his second top-three race finish since June.

But while the British side appears to have now addressed its previous troubles, the Spaniard believes that competing for victory on Sunday is beyond him and the team.

“It will be nice to win a race and especially the first race in a place like this one, but I think it’s unlikely that happens,” Alonso underlined. “I don’t think that this track really is one of our favourites on our package, so yeah, I guess it’s going to be difficult.”

Pressed on if he considers Verstappen to be in a more vulnerable position in Las Vegas, Alonso replied: “Don’t think so.”

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing. 15.11.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 22, Las Vegas Grand Prix, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, Preparation Day.

However, Sergio Perez has reaffirmed his caution surrounding Red Bull’s prospects, citing that maintaining temperature in the tyres will be tougher in the cooler conditions.

“I think it’s a place that we have no idea how it’s going to be,” Perez noted.

“It’s so different to the rest of the year, because first of all the temperatures, then it’s all about keeping the tyres in the window, keeping them warm and I think that’s going to be the challenge.

“So it’s going to be very different to anything else that we’ve done this year. So I don’t think we know how strong we’re going to be so it will be an interesting one.”

The combination of long straights and tight corners across the 6.12km Las Vegas track has drawn comparisons to the Baku City Circuit, where Perez last won an F1 race.

But the Mexican rebuffed the notion that his strong track record on street circuit configurations will provide him with added confidence heading into this weekend.

“Even if we go now to Baku things are different, things have changed. It’s how the years evolve in Formula 1,” he explained.

“I feel like we are in a good moment as a group, as a team. We haven’t been able to put the results all together in the last few weekends but I believe that we are on our way and we are getting a lot closer to our performances from earlier in the season.”

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