The initial phase of the season had people convinced that the 2021 Redbull was indeed the fastest car on the grid. However, the new-found speed in the Mercedes has left lots of people doubting Redbull driver Max Verstappen’s chances this year.
The fastest car title among the two rival teams has been swinging like a pendulum with both Mercedes and Redbull improving their performance significantly over the course of the season. However, the last 3 races have seen an upsurge in performance by the Silver Arrows.
Former Redbull driver Mark Webber recently expressed concerns over whether or not Max Verstappen would be able to win the championship against Lewis Hamilton with his current car. Speaking to the podcast F1 Nation, Webber cited the recent race in Turkey.
“Valterri drove a great Grand Prix out in front,” said the Australian driver-turned commentator. “I think that my little concerns off the back of (the Turkish GP) are: are Redbull giving Max the car to close this championship?”
He expressed his disbelief over the fact that Verstappen was not able to properly challenge Bottas for the win during the race on Sunday. “I think that I would have lost a lot of money for Valtteri to have the measure of Max in those conditions.”
“I thought Verstappen would run rings around him all day long, but he couldn’t react to the speed of Valtteri.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2021
Webber spoke about the recent increase in Mercedes’ pace and what he expects his former team to do about it. “Red Bull know they need to react to the Mercedes’ pace now, with these new engines that Mercedes have put in the back of the car, or some aero, or whatever’s going on.”
Mercedes confident going into the next few races
Speaking to the host of the F1 Nation podcast Tom Clarkson, Mercedes’ Director of Trackside Engineering Andrew Shovlin confessed: “I think we have got a car which can win the world championship now. Earlier in the year we were nervous with the two programmes we’ve got running.”
Shovlin opened up further to the Podcast host and mentioned that they were ‘worried’ that they would ‘run out of steam’ but now are happy that they can find more performance in the car.
The next race will be in Texas, USA at the Circuit Of The Americas. The track has a massively long straight in the second sector which, based on recent performance, should be a great advantage for Mercedes whose straight-line speed is far superior to anyone on track at the moment.