“There is no reason to believe they can find a solution in time”– Mika Hakkinen doesn’t believe Mercedes could overtake Red Bull this year.
Red Bull has been a better team this year than Mercedes, and the marginal difference between the two teams has given some exciting races this year. But now the differentials between the two teams are clear.
The former F1 world champion is full of praises towards Red Bull and Max Verstappen, and have also credited the aerodynamics freeze this year, which have curtailed Mercedes’ progress in the season.
“The way in which Max Verstappen controlled Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix and took a comfortable win over Lewis Hamilton showed just how strongly the Red Bull-Honda package has developed this year,” Hakkinen wrote.
“I think they have done an incredible job, and Max is taking full advantage of it. Red Bull Racing has won the last four Grand Prix, a really fantastic performance and the kind of competition Mercedes has not experienced since 2013.
“What we have seen is that Red Bull and Honda have put everything into this season. A new engine and an aerodynamic package which takes
advantage of the change in aerodynamic regulations introduced this year.”
“That change has suited Red Bull’s design philosophy and worked against Mercedes.”
Mercedes have no answer
With 16 races more to go in the season, Hakkinen doesn’t have any reason to believe that Mercedes can overturn this. While Red Bull is fuelling in resources for this year, Mercedes have already dropped the plans to keep the focus on 2021.
“I used to love that kind of race because, while it is fun to race wheel-to-wheel, being in control and knowing that you have a fantastic car under you is such a nice feeling. Max seems to be really enjoying it!” he said.
“While Mercedes is focusing on the development of their 2022 car, the decision by Red Bull and Honda to put everything into this year’s programme has given them a really big step forward in their performance.”
“At the moment Mercedes seems to have no answer to this, and with only four days between the Styrian and Austrian Grand Prix, there is no reason to believe they can find a solution in time.”
“Another win for Max next Sunday seems entirely likely, and while Mercedes can console themselves with podium finishes, that is not really the objective for drivers like Lewis, Valtteri and team boss Toto Wolff.”
“They will need to find some solutions soon if this World Championship is not to get away from them during July and August.”