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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Mercedes’ impressive momentum should concern Red Bull

The Turkish Grand Prix wasn’t as exciting as it was in 2020, but there was plenty happening throughout the weekend. Once again Mercedes was very fast and that raises some questions towards the end of the season. Here are the conclusions after the Turkish Grand Prix.

There is more grip on the Intercity Istanbul Park

Beforehand the organisation said that the tarmac had been changed since the last Grand Prix to provide more grip and we can say that they succeeded. In the dry, it was much less slippery than last year and also in the rain there was more grip. The organisation deserves praise for the adjustments.

Under pressure, Mercedes are creaking

Whether it was the right decision for Mercedes to bring Lewis Hamilton in will always be a question mark, but it does show that the German team can make mistakes under pressure. The biggest problem is the internal unrest after such a moment. Where Mercedes always pretends to be one team, Hamilton has been extremely critical on his team after the race.

McLaren is not yet a top team

McLaren was already labelled by many as a top team after their performances in Italy and Russia. Andreas Seidl however was already realistic by pointing out the disappointing performance in Zandvoort. That McLaren aren’t at the top of their game was again proven in Turkey, where Lando Norris drove a lonely race in the points and Daniel Ricciardo didn’t even come close to scoring.

Red Bull has found a real racer

There are still issues for Sergio Perez to work on, but in Turkey, he showed once again what he does best: defend. The Mexican held off an onrushing Hamilton and that was quite an achievement. Perez still needs to become more at one with the RB16B, but it is clear Red Bull has found a real fighter.

Mercedes hard to beat since the British GP

Red Bull Racing must ensure that the current momentum of Mercedes is turned around. Verstappen is scoring maximum points to regain the lead in the standings, but since the updates at the British Grand Prix Mercedes have looked stronger every weekend except Zandvoort. For the rest of the season, this should worry Red Bull.

With Brazil and Mexico Grands Prix, two more true Red Bull circuits are coming up, but the races in Qatar and Saudi Arabia could also fall to Mercedes. With COTA and the Yas Marina Circuit there are two more real Mercedes tracks on the calendar so confidence will be high with the German team.

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