“Mercedes Is Not a Silent Team”: Honda F1 Director Warns Red Bull Ahead of French GP

Published 06/14/2021, 11:08 AM EDT
NUERBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 11: Second placed Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing talks with Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, Masashi Yamamoto of Honda and Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko in parc ferme during the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


After experiencing a couple of great weekends at street circuits, Red Bull leads the Constructors Championship, 26 points ahead of reigning champions Mercedes. For the first time after the German Grand Prix in 2018, Mercedes have lost their lead in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ standings.

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It is a known fact that street circuits aren’t Mercedes forte, as was proven again as the team could only get seven points from their previous two race weekends at Monte Carlo and Baku. This has subsequently resulted in Red Bull extending their lead over Silver Arrows by 25 points in the Constructors’ Championship. And with both drivers failing to add points at the Azerbaijan GP, Max Verstappen continues to lead Lewis Hamilton in the championship by four points.

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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner prefers to evaluate Mercedes in normal circuits

Despite recent solid performances by the Milton-Keynes-based team, Honda’s F1 technical director, Toyoharu Tanabe believes Mercedes will come back stronger than ever.

“Mercedes is not a silent team. Of course, I think they will come back. The [Baku] results are good, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to be good at coming races,” said Toyoharu Tanabe.

Not only Toyoharu Tanabe, but Christian Horner is also curious to see just how F1’s return to normal circuits will affect the battle between his team and Mercedes. The Formula One paddock will now visit the Paul Ricard Circuit in Le Castellet for the French Grand Prix. where Mercedes will to make a strong comeback.

“Now we start going back to more classic circuits, that’s going to be interesting to see. But it’s very much game on,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021. Mercedes’ Team Principal Toto Wolff with Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

“I think so far this year, Honda made a good step forward. Sometimes it can also be difficult to say with wing levels or whatever, but I think overall we are getting closer and closer. It’s not only about engine power, it’s about a lot of different things where you have to be good at with the engine.”

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Can Mercedes make a comeback at French Grand Prix, the track has historically benefitted Mercedes? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

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