Max Verstappen’s victory against Lewis Hamilton at Imola has given new dimensions to the rivalry between Red Bull and Mercedes. According to Mercedes boss, Christian Horner, it’s just the start of the season and several factors will decide on their team’s contention for the F1 title.
Doing that, Horner also pointed towards the performance of the Inter Tyre used by both the teams during Imola GP. As per him, “The pace is obviously very close to Mercedes, and there are strengths and weaknesses of the cars in different areas.”
“If you look at the performance on the inter tyre [at Imola], we were quicker at the beginning of the stint, they were quicker at the end. The wear pattern across the front looks different between the two cars, and I would say, Lewis’s pace, he rode his luck, but once they were on the same spec of tyre, in clean air, they looked very, very competitive.”, Horner said.
“Indeed, he got the fastest lap. I think he had the benefit of a DRS at the beginning of that lap, which is three or four-tenths. But it’s very, very tight. It’s about getting the most out of the car on a case-by-case basis”, he further added.
The statement from Mercedes boss has spiced up things between two teams before the next month’s Portugues grand Prix. There are multiple factors Mercedes have to look forward to, posing some significant challenge to their rivals, in consideration.
Given the Crash of the W12 car at Imola, they are firmly struggling to manage the upgrades program for the 2021 season. As it stands, team Mercedes have to bring some major changes in their functionality to go well with the exiting cost capping.
Regardless, they can’t afford to breathe easy as Red Bull has gone on to a fine start with the 2021 season. Hence, the Brackley-based team has to pull up their socks before it’s too late.
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