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They will win the championship if we don't improve our car very quickly

NEWS STORY
22/04/2021

Mercedes engineering director, Andrew Shovlin has a stark warning for his team, admitting that Red Bull "will win the championship if we don't improve our car very quickly".

While the record books will show that Lewis Hamilton finished second in the 2021 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, and, courtesy of the fastest lap, headed to Portugal still leading the championship, the reality is that despite a masterful comeback, it was a difficult afternoon for Mercedes... and that's before one considers Valtteri Bottas' exploits.

Following his spin at Tosa, the Briton dropped to seventh, just moments before his teammate added to Mercedes misery by colliding with George Russell, and pitting under the Safety Car that was initially deployed before the race was red-flagged, Hamilton rejoined in ninth, a lap down on race leader Max Verstappen.

One of a number of drivers allowed to un-lap himself before the restart, Hamilton subsequently staged a remarkable revival, passing Lando Norris just a couple of laps from the end to claim second.

However, the German team's engineering boss, Andrew Shovlin is only too aware that Mercedes cannot continue to ride its luck.

"I like to think we could have put them under some pressure in the race," he says. "Whether or not we had the car to win, I don't know because I don't know how hard Max was pushing at times.

"But looking at the sectors Lewis was doing and where we were in the corners, we felt it was really close," he adds.

But we are not going to walk away from this patting ourselves on the back, saying that we might have had the faster car by a small amount. We are walking away from here saying, we are not good enough and they will win the championship if we don't improve our car very quickly.

"That is our mind-set, that we are still the ones chasing."

"We still have a deficit with the car," said team boss, Toto Wolff. "We were on pole, but if Max had put in a decent lap we were probably 0.25s behind, maybe 0.3s. That is simply what the pecking order is at the moment.

"In the race it was very difficult to judge because of the circumstances, but we had a very good car in the wet and in the drying up.

"We are slowly starting to understand it, but according to the data we still do not have a car and power unit that can match the Red Bull Honda."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by kenji, 23/04/2021 8:36

"@ Superbird70....It appears that, taking all things into consideration, that the two cars are very much identical in pace although the points table only look like they do ATM as Hamilton lucked into a red flag and was able to unlap himself!! Wolff is desperate to adopt the status of underdog for quite a few reasons, mainly because when they pull in front they will appear to have achieved just so much more despite the competition and secondly he thinks that it increases the pressure on Red Bull thereby increasing the chances that the pressure will force them into rash decisions and mistakes!! In fact the opposite is occurring...Mercedes are ever so slightly beginning to fray at the edges and it can be demonstrated by Wolff clumsily attempting to manipulate Aston Martin to challenge the new aero changes which he stated were definitely aimed at them, Mercedes, in an attempt to prevent another boring runaway season. Add into that both Mercedes drivers hardly covering themselves in glory at Imola and we have the threads of an improved season...hopefully."

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2. Posted by Superbird70, 22/04/2021 22:05

"So two races in and all is lost for Mercedes!! Be optimistic, Verstappen or Perez could pull a Bottas and run into an Alpha Tauri evening things out. Not even faith in themselves, so sad."

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3. Posted by kenji, 22/04/2021 14:47

"@ SLR...'Louis Hamilton will outdrive the Mercedes car's base performance'. Que ? You do know that that's an impossible feat, even for the GOAT....according to the laws of physics. Que sera sera, whatever etc etc etc."

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4. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 22/04/2021 13:51

"I believe Max Verstappen was driving well within himself, the Red Bull car and his tyres at Imola and he was setting fastest laps right until the very end when Lewis Hamilton took the fastest lap for that extra championship point!

I don't believe Verstappen or Red Bull thought that Hamilton could take the fastest lap so I don't think they even tried, so Hamilton's fastest lap don't actually mean that Mercedes can safely assume they have a fast car compared to the Red Bull! "

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5. Posted by SexyLadyRacer, 22/04/2021 13:38

"Quite rightly, Mercedes is extremely concerned that at the moment Red Bull has the fastest and most dominant car on the F1 grid, and mostly likely, Max Verstappen will win the Driver's Championship this season!

However, personally, I am quite confident that Lewis Hamilton will outdrive the Mercedes car's base performance and will ultimately win the Driver's Title at the end of this season! Provided that the Mercedes team doesn't make any bad mistakes during race or there's reliability issues!

The bigger question is will Mercedes win the Constructor's Championship if they don't quickly improve the car to that of the Red Bull car's speed and performance?
If Mercedes can't improve their car's performance to the same level as Red Bull, the team will lose the Constructor's Title this season! "

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