Does Hamilton’s Admission Suggest Mercedes Have Given Up on the 2021 F1 Title Race to Red Bull?

Published 06/27/2021, 1:17 PM 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


For the last seven years, Mercedes have dominated Formula One like no other team. With seven back-to-back drivers’ and constructors’ world championships, they started 2021 as the team to beat.

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However, after Max Verstappen’s win in the Styrian Grand Prix earlier today, it seems Red Bull are stronger than the Silver Arrows this season. With the Austrian outfit taking their fourth win on the trot, things are starting to look grim for the defending champions.

Are Mercedes throwing in the towel in their 2021 title challenge?

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Red Bull outclassed their championship rivals with yet another dominant display in the Styrian mountains. Despite starting the race in P2, Lewis Hamilton finished 35 seconds behind Max Verstappen. Although that gap came due to a pit stop towards the end of the race, it just shows the difference between the two teams at the moment.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 27, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton after finishing second in the race Pool via REUTERS/Darko Vojinovic

While Valtteri Bottas took the final podium place, Red Bull almost made a two-stop strategy work with Sergio Perez. The Mexican finished in P4, just half a second behind the Finn. In addition to that, Bottas finished a whopping 46 seconds behind Verstappen.

If France indicated Mercedes’ struggles, today provided a crystal clear view. Moreover, Hamilton and CEO Toto Wolff made comments which could hint the Silver Arrows are throwing in the towel this season.

After a gruelling race, Hamilton said“Well, we’ve not brought any upgrades. I don’t remember the last time we had an upgrade. Maybe they [Red Bull] spent more money than us this year. Maybe we put more money on next year, who knows.”

However, Wolff’s comments could be a major indicator of Mercedes’ focus. He said, “This is the first race, really, in eight years where we are just lacking the pace. We have stopped developing this year because we believe for the next years it is so important to get it right and they are still adding bits.”

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Do the Silver Arrows stand a chance in the Austrian Grand Prix?

Although it may seem they are shifting their focus to 2022, there are 15 races left this season. And with Mercedes, the championship is never over until it’s mathematically impossible.

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Mercedes can take heart from the fact that Bottas won the last edition of the Austrian Grand Prix. However, Red Bull’s win today could be the sign of things to come next weekend.

Where do the Silver Arrows go from here? Only time will tell.

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Sanket Nair

339 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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