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Red Bull questions "mind-boggling" Mercedes speed

NEWS STORY
14/11/2021

As Lewis Hamilton storms through the field to claim fifth, Christian Horner admits to finding the Briton's speed "mind-boggling".

Whatever one's view on his disqualification from Friday's qualifying results, few would argue that Lewis Hamilton's fight back through the field from last to fifth was one of the highlights of the season.

Clearly fired up by the ruling, not to mention that little matter of an eighth world championship, Hamilton began his afternoon by picking off the backmarkers, before making his way by the more established drivers including a couple of fellow world champions.

There were no complaints of "lack of grip" or "dirty air" as the seven time world champion went about his business, rounding off his performance with the threat that "this is not over".

However, speaking shortly after the Sprint, Red Bull boss, Christian Horner admitted to finding Hamilton's sheer speed "mind-boggling", and, without actually saying it, questionable.

"Lewis' straight-line speed is just mind-boggling," he told Sky Sports. "We've seen this coming for a few races now. In Turkey it started to be there, in Mexico, we saw the straight-line speed, I think they were about 14 km/h quicker at the end of the straight than we were, so it's no great surprise.

"We saw yesterday that it's phenomenal," he added, "especially with the size of the rear wing that they have on the car."

Revealing that the team's design guru, Adrian Newey had spoken with the Interlagos stewards, Horner said: "It's something that is enabling the car to do that kind of speed. Something must happen, because physics wouldn't allow...

"The kind of horsepower delta that you would need to achieve that, would be pretty significant," he continued. "So we're obviously trying to understand what it is and go from there.

"It's down to the FIA to police," said Horner. "The rules are quite concise, they're ever more constricted.

"It's something that we're going to keep an eye on because, particularly with Lewis today, that was just a different league. I think he was 27 km/h faster than Lando when he passed him, which is another formula, but it's a great drive from him."

Meanwhile, explaining why he had examined Hamilton's rear wing on Friday, a move which was to cost him 50,000 euros, Max Verstappen poured more fuel on an already smouldering fire.

"You can see on the video what I did exactly," said the youngster. "I was just looking at how much the rear wing was flexing at that point.

"Of course, there have been talks," he continued, "and of course there are things to still look into, because at a certain speed it seems like the wing is flexing.

"You know we had, at the beginning of the season, to change the rear wings a bit because of the back off," he added, referring to movement of the Red Bull's rear wing at high speed. "But it seems like something is still backing off over there. So that's why I went and had a look."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Interlagos, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by nnails, 14/11/2021 15:54

"Qually time is taken from sprint race time. Is there any tracks where its quicker to go in to pits and trigger the timing beam than go round the normal track on the last lap?"

Rating: Negative (-1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Stitch431, 14/11/2021 15:03

"They are clearly giving back Mercedes and Wolff what they had to cash in at the beginning of the season themselves. Normal F1 business. Gloves off ... oh wait that was what Toto said a couple of races ago before the straight-line speed suddenly rose ..."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

3. Posted by Spindoctor, 14/11/2021 12:47

"Mrs Horner's Roses must be championship quality - given the vast amount of BS dropping from her hubby.

Mercedes, Hamilton & Bottas have done a better job than RBR. Christian is a bit annoyed that his team didn't do better, but Sport involves losing as well as winning. Sunday (today) is another day & it's more than probable that Max will blitz Bottas on the start & sail on to another victory.

Grow Up Chris....."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

4. Posted by Jet Jockey, 14/11/2021 12:24

"LOL at that hypocrite Horner and that bully Max... There is no end to their sour grapes."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

5. Posted by Sam 66, 14/11/2021 11:30

"Fastest lap - Verstappen!!!!!"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

6. Posted by Pawsche, 14/11/2021 11:28

"@Lapps... No need for trick engines. A new ICE is going to give a couple of percent more power, then wind the wings back a bit to reduce downforce and drag (remember those things have the drag coefficient of a Dennis Routemaster!) and bingo - another 15 or 20kph when DRS and slipstream are taken advantage of."

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

7. Posted by Wokingchap, 14/11/2021 11:07

"Aaaagh..... here we go yet again Mr Horner......... i suppose he wants the engine inspected by the stewards now."

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8. Posted by Roli, 14/11/2021 10:42

"Whats wrong Mr Horner , cant you find anything on the Merc that you can protest ? They are quicker than you, so suck up to it!"

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9. Posted by Lapps, 14/11/2021 7:51

"Claim you need new engine, because current one is failing. Fit new super-duper 1100hp unit unit. Simples!
I know, I know, the Regs say that that is not possible, but the proof of the pudding?"

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