Mercedes have certainly come a long way since their inception year in 2010. From a team used to battling for top 10 finishes, they have become the team that bossed the turbo hybrid era and collected title after title.
But the 2020 Abu Dhabi GP showed that the defending champions had some tough competition. Previous four-peat winners Red Bull played out a straightforward season finale race, with Max Verstappen taking home the win.
Undoubtedly, Mercedes will identify any such weak areas and build a much superior W12 car. That is, of course, the opinion of Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, who believes one can never underestimate Mercedes.
He said, “Mercedes is quite a machine, but we’ve demonstrated that you can beat them – by working hard, by applying yourself to the task in hand.”
“I think that they will be tremendously motivated because of that last race in Abu Dhabi and I expect that Toto has used that, and James Allison [too], to come up with an even more competitive car for this year.”
Red Bull’s late-found strength came in the form of continual developments through the 2020 campaign. Where Mercedes had stopped working on any updates for their W11 machinery, its successor will certainly not be the same in terms of performance.
Horner continued, “So, we don’t in any way underestimate the might of Mercedes. But we’ve always been a been a challenger.”
“Our objective is, as I say, to take the lessons that we learned in 2020 into 2021. And hopefully RB16B will be a good evolution,” concluded the 47-year-old.
For a long time now, the results of the Constructors’ Championship have been one-sided. But with refreshed changes at Red Bull, a title battle with Mercedes is what fans will naturally expect to see.
On the one hand, Mercedes have the might of Lewis Hamilton who has momentum from 2020. On the other, Red Bull now have a capable second driver in Sergio Perez to support Verstappen during races.
In essence, the fight between both champion teams could set the stage for an exciting 2021 campaign. Though Mercedes will start off as favorites, Red Bull might not be far behind this time around.