The endless technical battle between Mercedes and Red Bull was quieter than usual in Qatar but Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff believes Red Bull will be back with suspects in Saudi Arabia.
Since the end of the summer break, Mercedes has been a boost in its straight-line speed, which Red Bull worryingly noticed. The positive performance in Qatar from the Bulls reassured Milton Keynes but not so much to leave the situation unmonitored.
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner admitted to Motorsport.com: “I think what we have seen in recent races is an abnormal straight-line speed. I think Toto [Wolff] has been at pains to point out that there have been gains in straight-line speed when nothing has changed, but it’s encouraging that this is the first race since prior to Silverstone we’ve been able to match their straight-line speed and an exponential increase in races.”
Horner then went on to clarify how he is happy with the measures taken by the FIA: “I think that I am glad to see it is being well policed. I’m confident that the tests that have been introduced should eradicate any ability to circumnavigate.”
Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff explained his thought regarding the performance of both teams: “Have they shown some data or photographs about the straight-line performance? It’s a track here that is less power-sensitive, and interestingly I think they’ve just done a good job: their straight-line speed with the big wing (high downforce) is identical to ours. So yeah, I’m happy that they are happy.”
However, Mercedes has recently announced Lewis Hamilton fitted an old engine during the Qatar Grand Prix, while the Brit will go back to the new power unit for the remaining races.
Hence, it’s not surprising Wolff believes the polemics are not over yet: “Let’s go to Saudi Arabia, and maybe we’ll hear some comments again. In a way, the debates that are being kicked off or launched, I cannot follow any more. I have taken the decision for myself and the team that we’re struggling to keep up with commenting on the rumours that are being made from that side.”
Headline Image: Mercedes AMG F1 Media Database
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