In the eyes of many 2021 has been the most exciting season of F1 in some time. Mercedes and Red Bull are involved in a close fight for both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles. While the racing was close in the first few races, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen almost cruised to victory during both the races in Austria. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton hasn’t tasted victory in 5 races and he has now given his thoughts on Red Bull’s resurgence as reported by Reuters
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0:00 - Hamilton Feels Races Were Exciting Before Red Bull Took Huge Leap
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I'm your host Dillon Shelley and first up on Formula World:
Hamilton Feels Races Were Exciting Before Red Bull Took Huge Leap
Hamilton began by explaining why he decided to continue racing
“I found myself just waking up thinking about racing, so I wanted to continue to race. Now we are having this tight battle it’s brought me closer to the team, closer to the engineers, it’s making me dig deeper and I love that. It has reinvigorated the love that I have for this sport and love for what I do”
He also explained how he won’t keep racing just for the sake of it
“There’s going to be a point at which I’m going to want to move on to do different things... I’m not going to do it at 80%, 70% and just trundle along. I’m only here to win. So, if there’s ever a point that I feel I don’t want to commit the time or the effort, that will be the time for me to stop”
He then elaborated on why the start of the season was exciting for him
“I had the best and most enjoyable start of the year, enjoyed the roller-coaster ride that we’re having. The start of this season, when the cars were so close in performance - pretty much equal - then it was really one of the most exciting times I’ve had for some time”
He signed off by pointing out that Red Bull have take a huge leap since then
“I was really hoping that it would continue on like that for the rest of the year but they’ve taken a huge leap forwards”
Retired F1 world champion Damon Hill pointed out that “Red Bull were pretty dominant in Austria”
“They had an entire pit-stop advantage, so they absolutely smashed it. It is looking like Max [Verstappen] is inching away into the distance”
He added that “Pirelli are also bringing a stronger rear tyre for Silverstone and it may produce disparities between the Red Bull and Mercedes. Silverstone will be a big one”
Former vice-president at Mercedes, Norbert Haug has suggested that at Red Bull it “seems as if the whole package has improved”
“A driver who is mostly faultless and fast, a more powerful engine and an improved chassis with tremendous efficiency and lots of downforce”
“All that together will deliver the decisive tenths - and maybe more, as long as Red Bull drives as hard as it needs to, which is what smart teams always do when they are superior”, Haug surmised
He, however, cautioned “that Mercedes should never be written off” as he “would be very much mistaken if Mercedes now set its sights on the next season”
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has explained that “it was important to keep Lando behind [them in Austria]”
This was “because Lando was lightning fast on the straights. You can see Max moving when they went into turn three to break the slipstream. That was an old go-kart track trick”
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko thinks “these penalties are too heavy. One would have been enough for Perez because the second penalty is a consequence of the first”
“We want to see drivers race, don’t we?”, Marko questioned
“They are all driving on the limit, so as long as nobody flies off it is fine as far as I’m concerned. Norris shouldn’t have received a penalty either”, Marko added
Retired F1 driver Timo Glock has suggested that “you shouldn’t write [Lewis Hamilton] off, you have to be very careful with that”
“Hamilton and Mercedes won’t give in so easily, even though what Verstappen and Red Bull are showing at the moment is very dominant”, Glock added
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon has stated that “at Silverstone, [they] want to start with a clean slate again. [They] will replace as many parts as possible on the car”
“Hopefully, [they] will then come back much stronger. There was definitely something not quite right [in Austria and they] need to find out what that was”
Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas thinks that “Silverstone is a very different circuit, there are a lot more fast corners. [They] have a few new parts planned, but it will be quiet after that”
Are the races less exciting where Red Bull has had a clear pace advantage?
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