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Mercedes no longer has engine advantage claims Perez

NEWS STORY
27/04/2017

A brief look at the driver and team standings, admittedly after just three races, reveals that Mercedes no longer has a clear advantage, with Sebastian Vettel heading the Drivers' Championship and Ferrari the teams'.

Sergio Perez believes that much of this is down to the fact that Ferrari's engine is now the equal of the Mercedes unit, and that Renault is fast closing in. Indeed, the Mexican believes that soon only the Honda unit will be inferior to that of the world champions.

"I definitely think that Ferrari is at the same level as Mercedes, and Renault is more or less there," he told reporters in Sochi. "We only have the advantage over Honda.

"This year, with these cars, the engines are much more important than in the past," he continued, "because the amount of time you spent at full throttle was a lot less and the amount of energy you recovered was also a lot less. Definitely Ferrari and Renault have done a massive step forwards to catch Mercedes."

Ignoring the Mexican's suggestion that only Honda is below Mercedes - and that will be some gap - the fact is that in Q3 in Bahrain, Mercedes clearly was able to find that extra something that left even Ferrari open-mouthed. Many believe, despite what Perez might be saying, that the German manufacturer isn't quaking in its boots just yet.

While a new floor, aimed at improving the VJM10's aero, will not be introduced until Barcelona, Perez heads into the Russian weekend feeling confident, his team, along with Mercedes and Ferrari, the only outfit to get both cars home in the points in all three preceding races.

"I think this track should be a bit better for us," said the Mexican. "Bahrain really exposed all of our issues in one go. It was also a very tricky weekend up until qualifying with all the issues that we had personally with the car, and I think Bahrain was always going to be a hard race for us, given the track layout.

"It was probably one of the hardest races for us, so I think here we can be a bit more competitive and closer to where we should be."

Check out our Thursday gallery from Sochi, here.

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