During the qualifying session of Australian GP 2019, Mercedes shrugged off any talks of issues with their car. In other words, they romped to a front row lock-out with Lewis Hamilton on pole yet again. However, the real story was what was going on behind the Silver Arrows, namely Red Bull.
The 4-time world champions have admitted that the raging Bulls are a legitimate threat to their title hopes. Speaking to Motorsport.com, team principal Toto Wolff confessed, “I felt that Honda has certainly made a huge step forward.”
“If you look at the speed trace, it looks a very different Red Bull than before. They’re very fast on the straights and that’s good to see.”
“We want them in the mix and we want to have a big fight. Max was driving the car in a spectacular way again today and really squeezed every tenth out of the car.”
“If they are in the mix with Ferrari, and maybe some others, it’s just what the sport needs. We embrace the challenge.”
Red Bull’s lead driver, Max Verstappen is already reaping the rewards of the partnership. During pre-season testing, he admitted that he could already tell the difference between Honda and Renault. Their good fortune seems to have carried itself onward to Australian GP 2019 as well.
“We’ll find out tomorrow of course how competitive we are [in terms of power] but it just seems very smooth, we are working really well together,” said Verstappen to Motorsports.com.
“I really have nothing to complain to them, they are working really hard and really focused. No issues, and it gives you a really positive feeling, and enjoyment as well, while driving.”
Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner even said that Mercedes’ sudden resurgence after a troubled testing was a surprise to everyone, including Mercedes themselves.