The battle between Max Verstappen (23) and Lewis Hamilton (36) continues. Now there is a discussion about the Mercedes team engine.
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For Red Bull, there were mixed feelings after Max Verstappen regained the lead in the World Cup last Sunday when he finished second at the Turkish Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) was number five and is therefore six points behind the Dutchman overall.
But: Red Bull bosses believe Hamilton drove “15-20km / h faster” on straight stretches than Verstappen and Red Bull.
– We’ve asked a couple of questions, says Red Bull boss Christian Horner diplomatically.
The reason Hamilton “only” became number five was largely due to a ten-seat penalty at the starting plate, because Mercedes chose to switch to its fourth engine for the season (up to three engines can be used without penalty). Also, possibly Mercedes was lost with the strategy in Turkey (this is what the academics discuss).
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After the summer holidays, Mercedes has been the strongest team in Formula 1, but special circumstances have made it not so visible on the general list. But Hamilton won in Sochi (after Red Bull switched to its fourth engine), and in Turkey, Hamilton won qualifying. Then his Mercedes colleague Valtteri Bottas dominated the race in Turkey (where Hamilton had to start from 11th best position).
Mercedes cars are on the rise. That, of course, worries Red Bull bosses.
– They have taken a big step on the right stages, says team manager Christian Horner to RTL.
– Previously, we managed to match it with our little wings, but now we’re not close to its speed.
– Hamilton had, despite the larger rear wing, a clear advantage on the straights. Now we need to maximize our package. It’s very surprising that they’ve taken such a big step with their internal combustion engine, says Horner, and he uses the term often used in Formula 1: “power unit.”
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So to the point:
The Red Bull team has contacted the FIA (International Automobile Federation) to find out that Mercedes is following the rules. According to Horner, there is no protest. At least not yet.
Horner tells RTL that they have asked some questions. According to Horner, others have done the same.
– Now it’s up to the FIA to look at this and do a verification. When you have higher speed in a straight line without DRS than with, it’s very impressive, he says.
He thinks the difference was 15-20 km / h, and now Austin is waiting in the US, a course that suits Hamilton very well.
DRS (drag reduction system) is a system for reducing air resistance in Formula 1 cars. The DRS system opens a part of the rear wing of the car that wants to pass, so that air resistance is reduced. The car in front cannot open the wing. That way, it will be easier to pass.
Mercedes has won four of the last five races. Hamilton has taken three of those victories.
– His speed is phenomenal. We need to increase the speed on the straight lines. There will be a couple of courses that suit us well, but first Austin, which suits Hamilton.
The Formula 1 star admits: – Depressed most of the time.
Horner and Red Bull, on the other hand, have high hopes for Mexico and Brazil.
His often outspoken adviser, Helmut Marko, is of the same opinion:
– The power of the engine that Mercedes has found since the Silverstone race is a mystery to me, says the Austrian. Sport1.
“Honda must now step up, otherwise we will have to compensate for the chassis disadvantage,” says Marko. Red Bull thus has Honda as its engine supplier. Honda will leave Formula 1 as an engine supplier from 2022, but announced last week that it will continue to work closely with Red Bull.
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Viaplay commentator Atle Gulbrandsen is one of Norway’s leading Formula 1 experts. He says this about this year’s big duel between Red Bull and Mercedes:
– Mercedes has been dominant in Formula 1 in recent years and was a big favorite before this year’s season as well. Then Red Bull has surprised positively, and right now Verstappen leads the World Cup.
– But I think now you see the result of the Mercedes experience, and that they will be stronger than Red Bull this fall. So I have more faith that Hamilton will win again this year, but I believe and hope he will be even and fight to the end, says Gulbrandsen.