Schumacher Warns Red Bull of “Mercedes of Old Strength” Returning at Imola

Published 03/31/2021, 5:45 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


The season opener in Bahrain threw up quite a few surprises for everyone. For starters, Mercedes weren’t really expected to take home a win. Throughout pre-season they struggled with handling issues and pace. The Silver Arrows themselves claimed that Red Bull were the team to beat. But by the end of Sunday, despite not having the best package, Lewis Hamilton still led the team to a win. However, former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher reckons that was only just the beginning.

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In what would be an ominous statement for Red Bull, who aim to plot a course for the title, Schumacher believes Mercedes will only get stronger, come the race in Imola.

Ralf said (translated via Google), “I didn’t think it was possible to make up the clear gap to Red Bull in such a short time. Not to forget: Valtteri Bottas also made it onto the podium despite a failed pit stop.

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“So for the next race in Imola you can probably count on a Mercedes of old strength.”

However, Schumacher isn’t ruling the Milton Keynes-based outfit from the title race.

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The ex-Williams driver reckons the Austrian team will have to step up their game big time. However, in doing so, he reckons, they could compromise on their 2022 season.

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Schumacher said, “They too have to take the next step, which is likely to be a major feat in terms of personnel and finances. Doubly annoying, after all, all teams want to get down to the development of the car for 2022 as early as possible.”

But Red Bull do have some time on their side to improve on certain aspects ahead of the next race on April 18th. Only time will tell whether they can mount a sustained charge on Mercedes.

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For Hamilton’s part, he was happy to battle Verstappen and win in Bahrain. But the Dutchman would have wanted to come out on top. Will we see the order reversed in Imola? Only time will tell.

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Ronan Carvalho

1015 articles

Ronan Carvalho is senior F1 author for Essentiallysports. Ronan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from St. Xavier's College.

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