Portuguese GP 2021: Red Bull Boss Horner Explains Why Mercedes Hold the Edge in Portimao

Published 04/27/2021, 3:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during practice REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane


Due to the way different aspects of F1 cars interact with different aspects of a track, there are some circuits in the world that favor certain teams over others. Such is the case with the circuits for the next two race weekends, Portugal and Barcelona, and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner feels Mercedes would dominate those two races.

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Last season saw the Silver Arrows bring home the win at both tracks, as Lewis Hamilton crossed the line in first place. The team would like to bring the same attitude when they race on those circuits this year.

Mercedes have an advantage in Portugal and Barcelona: Horner

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As quoted by Motorsport.nextgen-auto.com Horner said, “They are both excellent circuits, but circuits which, according to data from last year, should work in favor of the Mercedes.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton crosses the finish line in second REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

“Portimao was a good addition to the calendar last year, the surface will hopefully have aged a bit as the recently resurfaced circuit was very slippery. Barcelona are the benchmark that we all have a lot of data from, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top. 

FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the race and the world championship Pool via REUTERS/Clive Mason/Pool/File Photo

“I am excited for both races and you can be sure that we are full of energy and motivation. If we can put Mercedes under pressure at these circuits, that will bode well for the rest of the year.

“I’ve always said it would take four races to get a clear picture of the pecking order, so now is the litmus test,” Horner explained. (Translated from French via Google)

Can the Silver Arrows dominate as the Austrian outfit has suggested?

As Hamilton crossed the line in first place, Red Bull did manage to get on the podium. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to take home the win. So, based on previous results, the Austrian outfit believe that their rivals will win again this year.

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While having won at the track certainly gives Mercedes and Lewis the advantage this year, the 2021 season has proved to be more interesting and unpredictable than last year. Out of the two races that have happened so far, Hamilton won the first one despite starting second, and Verstappen won the second one despite starting third.

Red Bull have also fielded a much more competitive car this year. But will it be good enough to stop the Silver Arrows or will they dominate the track once again? What are your predictions for the upcoming race in Spain? Let us know in the comments below.

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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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