As reported yesterday, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team has announced that following its defeat at Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix, the team has stopped developing their 2021 challenger - the W12. Instead, the Silver Arrows is now putting all their effort and resources into their 2022 car due to the wealth of new regulations headed F1’s way. Mercedes’ chief rival, and current Constructors’ Championship leader, Red Bull Racing, is not so sure about this. Team Principal Christian Horner told the media in Austria ‘I can't believe that they'll go through the rest of this year without putting a single component on the car.’
Red Bull Racing has just completed a 4th consecutive victory of the 2021 season after only 8 races of the calendar have been run. As such, Red Bull Racing is very much the team to beat.
Sunday’s Styrian F1 Grand Prix saw Red Bull Racing stretch out a point lead over their closest rivals Mercedes in the constructors’ standings. Red Bull’s team boss Christian Horner spoke to the media later on and showed he was not convinced by the recent comments from Toto Wolff.
"What Mercedes do is very much their business, so we're just focused on ourselves," stated Horner. "We know that Toto likes to throw the light somewhere else, so I can't believe that they'll go through the rest of this year without putting a single component on the car.
"But, as I say, what we can do is focus on our own job. Of course it is a balancing act between this year and next year, but if that means we've all got to work a bit harder than the other teams, we are fully up for it."
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s talismanic driver, Sir Lewis Hamilton, has commented that he really hopes the team bring some upgrades to the W12. The seven-time F1 Drivers’ Champion has gone on record saying he needs a stronger car to compete with the might of Red Bull Racing and the dominance of Max Verstappen.
“We’ve still got many races ahead of us and we’ve got to keep pushing. We’re world champions and we can definitely improve if we put our minds to it. But if we’re not going to develop and improve our car for the rest of the year, this is the result you’re going to see, because they’ve really eked out performance in these last few races, whether it’s in France with the engine or with the new wing, whichever it is.”
Should Mercedes actually stop development on the W12, as they have stated, one can only imagine what that would do for any contract talks with Hamilton as he seems destined to give up his title with only the current package at his disposal. For now though, contracts are the last thing on anyone’s mind as the Silver Arrows endeavour to bounce back at the Austrian Grand Prix before the charging Bull gets out of sight.