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Max Verstappen Can Lead Mercedes With “Three Tenths” in a Clean Lap , Admits Toto Wolff

Max Verstappen took the lead from Lewis Hamilton at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28, 2021.

Toto Wolff, the Mercedes AMG team principal, admitted that Max Verstappen with his Red Bull RB16B is faster than their own Mercedes’ W12. This is rather unusual for the Silver Arrows as they’re not used to be the second-best in the business.

Red Bull surprised everyone when Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez took their new RB16B in the pre-season testing at Bahrain Circuit. All thanks to the new regulations by FIA which allowed the Milton Keynes based team to have high rake system in their car and hence has advantage over Mercedes’ low rake W12. Fast forward to Bahrain, Max with his car is still the fastest on the track and Toto exactly focused on that.

Talking about the car and the current speed-related issues, Wolff conveyed in a post race interview at Imola, “We are still having a deficit with the car. We ended up on pole, but if Max puts in a clean lap, we’re probably two-and-a-half tenths behind, maybe three.

And that is simply what the pecking order is at the moment. We’re slowly starting to understand it. But according to the paper, we’re still not having a car and power unit that can match the Red Bull-Honda.”

Max Verstappen and Red Bull are fastest, but Mercedes needs to sort out qualifying

Mercedes currently leads the Championship with 60 points, just 7 points ahead of Red Bull who are at 53 points right now. On that context, the 49-year-old Austrian further asserted, “[We’re] leading the championship with the fastest lap [at Imola] and what actually gives it a silver lining, or positive connotation… is that we seem to have a really quick race car. We had that in Bahrain too, and today, I would say clearly the quickest car. Now we just need to sort out qualifying performance.”

Race winner Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 18, 2021 in Imola, Italy. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Adding on, Verstappen is on supreme form right now. The Dutchman has lost the Sakhir Grand Prix by just seven-tenth of a second to Lewis Hamilton, however fought back to claim the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The 23-year-old driver is just a point behind Hamilton and will look forward to surpass the Briton in the upcoming Portuguese Grand Prix.


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