“They Woke Red Bull” – F1 Journalist Explains How Mercedes Riled Up Max Verstappen & Co in Austin

Published 11/04/2021, 3:01 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a press conference after winning the United States Grand Prix FIA/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES


The championship fight in the 2021 Formula One season is as close and intense as ever. With five races to go, just 12 points separate the championship protagonists, Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen won the US GP in Austin despite not having a faster car in the beginning.

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Dutch Journalist Olav Pol believes that by having the faster car on Friday, Mercedes gave Red Bull more time to figure out how to bridge the gap. The world champions were a second quicker than Max in FP1, but Red Bull clawed back the advantage and were the faster team from that point on.

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Journalist Olav Pol analyzes the United States GP

As reported by The Fast Lane Podcast, Pol stated that Mercedes’ pace on Friday woke Red Bull up. He mentioned the former should not have shown their hand that quickly into the weekend.

“It was a big one. I’m not so sure it was really unexpected, because they thought on the Friday ‘oops nine-tenths of a second, what’s going on around here?’”

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the race with third-place Red Bull’s Sergio Perez REUTERS/Brian Snyder

“And in a way by doing what Mercedes did, which we now know is they had their engines turned up a bit, they woke Red Bull up, and they [Red Bull] responded in the best possible way overnight with Buemi doing his job in the simulator and the other guys in Milton Keynes doing the work.

So in a way, they gave Max a better car, and if Mercedes would have been slower on Friday, they might have kept them at bay,” said Pol.

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Max Verstappen takes it race by race mentions Dutch Journalist

Max Verstappen has never won a world championship in a single-seater event. But he is not focusing on the thought of winning his first world championship, according to Pol.

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“I honestly think he takes it race by race,” he added.

Formula One F1 – United States Grand Prix – Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, U.S. – October 24, 2021, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium after winning the race with second place Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton REUTERS/Brian Snyder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

“Of course he knows what’s going on, but I feel that if he talks about championship points, he does that prior to the race weekend because the race weekend to him is basically to deliver on Saturday and deliver on Sunday and then the outcome, we’ll see what it is,” said Pol.

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The next two races are crucial for Verstappen as both Mexico and Brazil should suit his car. If he can win those races, he will have less to worry about in the final three races.

Can emerge as the F1 world champion this season? Let us know what you think.

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Devang Chauhan

584 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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