‘Mercedes Want People to Think We are the Favourites’- Max Verstappen

Published 03/23/2021, 7:20 AM EDT
SHANGHAI, CHINA: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing looks on in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)


While Mercedes have been dominating the grid since 2014, Red Bull have been right on their tail. Max Verstappen has stated that labeling them as favorites in 2021 is Mercedes’ way of placing them under pressure.

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The Milton-Keynes-based outfit finished 2nd in the battle for the championship. However, the rivals from Brackley took home their 7th title in 2020.

The Silver Arrows aim to dominate another year by winning their 8th title; however, they hinted at the fact that Red Bull could very well beat them to the punch this time around.

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Mercedes endured a series of horrible pre-season testing sessions in Bahrain. They had gearbox issues and their drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas had a difficult time on the track. Therefore, they feel their fiercest rivals may trump them this year.

MONTMELO, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 18: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during day one of F1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 18, 2019 in Montmelo, Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Max Verstappen says that Mercedes are playing mind games with Red Bull

The Red Bull prodigy said, “For sure the test was a positive start for us and you can always be happy when you get that number of laps in and get a good understanding of the car but it doesn’t say anything about pure performance.”

Verstappen further stated, “I know people are excited and think we are just saying this, but Mercedes are still the favorites. How can they not be when they have won seven world championships in a row?

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing looks on during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

“I’m sure Mercedes also want people to think we are the favourites and put the pressure on us but we are just focused on ourselves,” he concluded.

The Dutchman had his eye on the Silver Arrows during testing

Verstappen was well aware of what Mercedes were doing during their tests in Bahrain. He analyzed their data and tried to figure out what their game plan was for the upcoming season.

The 23-year-old stated, “They are indeed fast. We could see what they were doing on the data. They drove their first fast lap with less power.

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“Then they drove two quiet laps, followed by a second flying lap. In that, they won half a second on engine power.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing looks on during the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Cooler Runnings event at Station Pier, Port Melbourne ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

In addition to all this, Verstappen will be pairing up with a new teammate once the lights go out for the 2021 season. Sergio Perez will partner the Dutchman and hope they can take the team to the next level soon enough. However, Mercedes might have other plans.

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DIVE DEEPER

‘He’s at Hamilton’s Level’ – Max Verstappen Gets High Praise From Former F1 World Champion

about 1 month ago

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Arpit Gomes

322 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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