According to the current champion’s senior engineer, Red Bull is likely to have a better performance than Mercedes in the opening round of Formula One season next weekend.
Mercedes struggled with performance in tests at the Bahrain International Circuit last weekend. The first race of 2021 was also held at the Bahrain International Circuit, where Lewis Hamilton’s fastest lap exceeded Max Verstappen’s best time at Red Bull in more than a second.
Seven years after dominating the sport, Mercedes is preparing for a closer fight this season, although many variables such as fuel load and engine settings may have distorted the order of competition during testing.
“I think Red Bull is ahead in performance,” said James Vowles, chief strategy officer at Mercedes. “They are class acts from the test, but it’s a test, not a race, but one of 23 times. It’s an event. “
“Are we going to have a coming season? I would say so.
“Red Bull is a fierce enemy, they have a strong package and apparently came out of the box very quickly.
“As a result, I’m sure we can see us move back and forth against them in seasons and different types of track layouts, but especially in finding all the missing performances. I don’t think I’m working on it, or it’s in front of them.
“In short, I think we’re going to have a close championship this year.”
In-flight footage from the Mercedes cockpit showed the driver working hard to fix the new W12 slide, highlighting car cornering instability as a major weakness after three days of testing. ..
“Then the car wasn’t handled well, and on the contrary, Red Bull looked like it was actually planted, but it was a very stable car, especially throughout the last sector of the lap,” added Baures.
“I think it’s a fair observation. It’s visible from the outside and I think the lap times reflect that.
“But it’s no exaggeration to say that we’re sitting here now and there’s no answer. It’s only 24 hours after the end of the test.
“There is a long way to go to understand the vast amount of data we have and what is causing it.”
Andrew Shoblin, director of truckside engineering, said the condition of the truck was the cause of the problems Mercedes faced, but admitted that it seemed to have a greater impact on the W12 than any other car.
“The wind made it tricky,” Shoblin said. “When the wind is behind the car, it effectively slows down the airspeed and loses a lot of downforce. In the corners where the wind is behind, it tends to be, and on that circuit. Tires are very prone to overheating. There are some issues as the grip tends to be lost and worse when you start sliding.
“Now, importantly, we’ve found that some of our competitors aren’t as struggling as we are, so why the rear end was a bit weaker, how to make it more stable, and predictable. Yes, that work is currently underway.
“When we arrived at Race Weekend, we had to put in a lot of effort to get the lap time, so I hope it’s not too difficult for the driver.”
Mercedes does not believe it will regain the gap with Red Bull prior to the first race
https://www.espn.com/f1/story/_/id/31086146/mercedes-doubts-recover-gap-red-bull-ahead-first-race Mercedes does not believe it will regain the gap with Red Bull prior to the first race