Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is convinced Max Verstappen is a title contender this season, provided Red Bull Racing’s Honda engine can keep up the performance it showed in 70th Anniversary Grand Prix 2020.
Because of this, and Verstappen’s impressive first-place finish, Wolff is convinced the 22-year-old could be scrapping for the title this season.
Toto Wolff has indicated that he is closely watching Red Bull Racing. Warm conditions on the circuit appear to be the Achilles’ heel of the German racing team and their team boss is also aware of this. The title fight is therefore still completely open, he suggests.
“It was said that this race would be a breeze for us, but in the second weekend in Great Britain we didn’t even have the fastest car”, the Mercedes team boss told AS. The heavy degradation of the tires in particular played an important role in the outcome of the race: “I could see the blisters on Lewis’s tires. I knew they were in trouble and that we had to shorten those stints.”
“We have a serious problem in the heat”, he continues. “We generally have the fastest car, but we drive with the most aerodynamic pressure. The heavier the pressure, the harder your tires have to endure”. Hence, the Mercedes tires did not last as long as the tires on the RB16.
Therefore Wolff is keeping an eye out for Red Bull in the coming weeks. There are races to come in Spain and Italy, where temperatures are likely to be high. The RB16 is a serious danger in these races, Wolff predicts: “We have to admit that the RB16 is a sensational car. But we learn a lot from our losses.”
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Mercedes man. He also sees the positive side of a strong competitor: “We love the challenge and the fight, of course. Max is an insane driver and Red Bull a strong rival. Our advantage is gone with one small failure.”
“Valtteri Bottas is certainly not losing the race for the title, this season is still completely open”, Wolff concludes. He certainly also sees the Finn as a potential championship candidate. Bottas is currently third in the championship, Verstappen managed to overtake the Mercedes driver after his most recent victory.
Wolff : Verstappen is an amazing driver and a title contender Wolff : Verstappen is an amazing driver and a title contender
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F1 2020 NEXT RACE
|Russia ||27 Sep|
|10h00 - 11h30||Free practice 1|
|14h00 - 15h30||Free practice 2|
|11h00 - 12h00||Free practice 3|
|14h00 - 15h00||Qualification|
|14h10 - 16h10||Race|