Should Max Verstappen be worried in the F1 title fight?
A big smile at Max Verstappen on the podium after the GP of Turkey. But at Red Bull there was not only laughter, the alarm bells also seemed to have gone off figuratively for the rest of the F1 season.
After a period in which Red Bull seemed to have taken another step forward due to its engine upgrade during the Belgian GP, now Mercedes in particular seems to have gained an incredible amount of speed. And Red Bull is, rightly or wrongly, concerned about this.
Valtteri Bottas won from pole position without any problems but it was mainly what Lewis Hamilton showed in the rain. According to some, Hamilton seemed to ‘fly’ on the straights, as if the seven-time world champion was faster than all the rest by using DRS, without actually using DRS.
At Red Bull, they therefore fear that Mercedes has become much faster, especially on the straights, and that would of course not be good news for the remaining races of the season and Max Verstappen’s title fight.
“Mercedes’ speed on the straight has recently taken a huge step forward,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. ”Where in the past we could keep up with ‘smaller’ rear wings, that is no longer the case.
“Lewis in particular had a much higher top speed on the straight and that with a much bigger rear wing on his car.”
“We have to try to maximize our package as best we can. It is surprising that they were able to make such a step with their power unit.”
Whether that improved top speed indeed has anything to do with the new Mercedes engine Lewis Hamilton got remains to be seen, but it would indeed not be good news for Max Verstappen, even if the Dutchman recaptured the lead in the F1 championship in Turkey. .