“That Will Catch Us Out” – Mercedes Wary of Red Bull Pouncing on Major F1 Weakness

Published 05/22/2021, 5:17 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in action during the race REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo


From pre-season testing to now, it looks like Mercedes have resolved all issues that plagued them before the start of their season. However, the team admit that they are failing in one aspect on the track, one where their rivals, Red Bull, have a small advantage over them. The team’s chief strategist, James Vowles, believes that the Austrian team are outperforming them when it comes to tire warm-up.

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The Silver Arrows consider them lucky as they have won four out of the five races till now and lead the championship. They currently have 141 points and hope to defend their position from the Milton-Keynes squad.

Mercedes team strategist admits that Red Bull have a key advantage at a race

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As quoted by the official F1 website, Vowles said, “Warm-up [and] extracting a quali lap, they seem to be slightly better at, which could be one and the same thing.

“The beginning of the race when they’re leading, you see them just pull a second and a half of gap relative to us very, very quickly, and again in qualifying, perhaps we need just a few more laps than they do to get the tyres working.

“We’ve got away with it so far but that will catch us out, I’m sure, at some events,” he continued.

Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – May 9, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Nacho Doce

“I think we hold a little edge on Red Bull in terms of tyre durability,” he added. “And again, it just opens up a few more possibilities. They seem to be slightly better at the warm-up phase.”

“we’re slightly better going long on stints and I think that plays into our hands a little bit more and creates a few opportunities they don’t have available to them,” he concluded.

Will the Silver Arrows win at the Monaco Grand Prix?

Monaco is one of the most challenging circuits on the F1 calendar, due to the lack of overtaking opportunities. Hence teams would like to have a good qualifying session, which will give them an advantage for Sunday’s race.

Unfortunately, the Monte Carlo circuit is one that has historically favored Red Bull, and that seems like the case this year as well. While Lewis Hamilton came fifth fastest, Valtteri Bottas followed him by in sixth in the first practice session of the day.

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Formula One F1 – Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve International Circuit – Portimao, Portugal – May 2, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during the race REUTERS/Juan Medina

In FP2, Hamilton came third while Bottas only managed to come fifth. They hope to change that on Saturday’s qualifying session and aim to have a good race on Sunday in the streets of Monte Carlo.

Do you think Mercedes can continue their Monaco winning streak this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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Arpit Gomes

464 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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