Mercedes’ recent developments have made Lewis Hamilton the favourite to win the World Driver’s Championship in 2021, says Jolyon Palmer.
Lewis Hamilton took an engine penalty in Turkey, which saw him finish 5th, giving up the Championship lead to rival Max Verstappen. The latter finished second behind Bottas in the race, and the gap between them is now just 6 points.
But judging how well Bottas performed in the race shows a massive gap in performance between the Mercedes and Red Bull cars. Neither Red Bull cars posed much of a threat to the Mercedes of Bottas in qualifying or the race.
Red Bull looked to have the faster car in the opening rounds of the season. However, recent developments made by Mercedes have given them an advantage over the Milton-Keynes based team. This seems to have given Lewis Hamilton an advantage over Max Verstappen going into the last six races in 2021.
Tough to recall the last time Red Bull showed a lot of pace, says Palmer.
“You know what, for the first time this season I’m starting to think maybe Lewis is the favorite overall”, said former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer after the Turkish GP, he said to talkSPORT.
“I actually think Verstappen can’t be happy with that race. Yes, he’s taken second. He’s got the championship lead, but he was no match for Valtteri Bottas. Hamilton, if he was starting from pole which is where he qualified, he’s winning this easily I think.”
“Lewis has taken his engine penalty, lost a few points. That was pretty much going to be a given unless something remarkable happened which it didn’t.”
“But I’m worried for Red Bull because I can’t remember the last time they really showed a lot of pace.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 10, 2021
Differences in circuits could play a crucial role in the coming rounds
“What I’ve thought is that USA, Mexico and Sao Paulo coming up could be better for Red Bull. But quite frankly I think the last three in the Middle East could be better for Mercedes,” he said.
Red Bull have historically been better at circuits with a high altitude which is something they could use to their advantage when they travel to Mexico and Brazil. However, Lewis Hamilton has won five times in Austin, where the next round of the Formula 1 World Championship takes place.