Formula 1 has already started and the favourites to win the drivers 'and constructors' championship are, once again, Mercedes. The German team was firm and dominant in the two events that were held on the Austrian circuit called Red Bull Ring. On the first date, the Austrian Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas dominated the race from start to finish, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton was running in second place however a collision with Alex Albon’s Red Bull caused him to get a penalty , thus ending in fourth position. At the Styrian Grand Prix, it was now the six-time world champion who took the victory, with the Finn just behind him. Ferrari, which was believed that he was going to be the team that was going to fight with the Germans, has not had a good start to the season since its performance on track is not adequate to fight for victories, however, Red Bull is the one that can give Mercedes a battle. Max Verstappen fought for second place during the Styrian Grand Prix with Valtteri Bottas, although the Finn was the winner, they have also been quite strong in qualifying, since the Dutch managed to put himself up into P2 in this last event, beating the Finn by two positions . Everything looks great from Mercedes' perspective, although they are waiting for Red Bull to fight them again this weekend during the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring.
It turns out that the current champion team has realized that they are losing a lot of time compared to Red Bull in many of the slow corners of the Red Bull Ring. With these data, Mercedes believes that the Hungaroring circuit, which has a slow layout, will help Red Bull and may be fighting with the Germans.
“I think where we lost to Red Bull is the slow speed [corners], particularly turns 3 and 4 seem to be our vulnerabilities. Everywhere else on the straights and in the fast corners, we are quicker. We just need to continue to develop and push and understand the car.” Toto Wolff commented regarding Mercedes’ weaknesses.
“Budapest is a totally different ball game. Lots of downforce, lots of these slow and medium-speed corners. We’ll see how it works there. I’m 100% convinced that [Red Bull] will come very strong in Hungary. It’s a track that historically they have shown great performance. We have improved there too in the last few years, but it was always a difficult weekend.” Mercedes’ team principal affirmed.
We all know that Red Bull has been extraordinarily strong in slow tracks, such as Monaco and Hungary, in which teams must use high aerodynamic set ups. Another factor that could improve Red Bull’s performance is the temperature since the weather forecast previews a very sunny Sunday.
“Hot temperatures are maybe still a little but of an Achilles’ heel for us, and as far as I have seen on our weather forecast, it could be up to 30 degrees on Sunday. We need to prepare well, put all the focus on Budapest, and then hopefully do the best out of that.”
“They are a fantastic team, and they do a really great job. I don’t know where they are weaker than us currently, whether it is on engine power or downforce, but I see them as our main competitors through the year.” Toto Wolff commented.
Red Bull is not at Mercedes’ level, but it has been seen in a very high level, Max Verstappen achieved an amazing P3 last week in Austria and Alex Albon finished in P4. Today, Red Bull is surely the second fastest team, but their aim is to reach Mercedes and hopefully fight for victories. Who is going to win the Hungarian Grand Prix?