Austrian GP: Hakkinen Reckons Mercedes Can’t Claw Back Deficit on Red Bull F1

Published 06/29/2021, 2:04 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 27, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas after finishing second and third respectively REUTERS/Darko Vojinovic


Petronas Mercedes AMG, one of the most dominant teams of the hybrid era, found themselves overpowered by Red Bull Racing during the Styrian Grand Prix. On a normal day, the Brackley outfit would have looked to strike Max Verstappen with a strategical gamble.

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However, last weekend, they were nowhere near Red Bull’s race pace, with Lewis Hamilton falling by over 0.2s a lap to the race leader. At one point, the gap blew up to over 6 seconds, and a two-stopper was no longer a viable option.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after finishing second REUTERS/Darko Vojinovic

Of course, Hamilton did steal the fastest lap point on the very last lap of the race.

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But, that isn’t necessarily enough to seal the 2021 title, is it?

Hence, considering such a dominant show from Red Bull, former F1 driver, Mika Hakkinen, is certain that Mercedes have no answer at the moment. What’s more, the Finn reckoned the Milton Keynes outfit will go on to win the race over the upcoming weekend as well.

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Hakkinen predicting another Red Bull F1 victory against Mercedes in Austria

Writing to Unibet, Hakkinen opined that Mercedes will continue to be the second-best team at the Austrian Grand Prix as well.

While Mercedes is focusing on the development of their 2022 car, the decision by Red Bull and Honda to put everything into this year’s programme has given them a really big step forward in their performance,” he said. “At the moment Mercedes seems to have no answer to this.

And with only four days between the Styrian and Austrian Grand Prix, there is no reason to believe they can find a solution in time.

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Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 27, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Darko Vojinovic

It wasn’t just Verstappen who showed immense pace at the Styrian GP, but also his teammate, Sergio Perez. The Mexican opted for a late second pit stop and came out in P4 with a gap of over 20 seconds to Valtteri Bottas. With just over 15 laps in hand, Perez hunted down the Finn, only to finish less than a second behind him.

Overall, what a weekend it turned out to be for Red Bull; they couldn’t have asked for a better race. Meanwhile, the frown is starting to show up at Mercedes’ garage, who have absolutely held the throne for the last seven years. So, can either Verstappen or Perez chase after Red Bull’s fifth consecutive win at Spielberg this weekend?

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Rohit Kumar

948 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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