Christian Horner concerned: "Mercedes look very competitive"

10-12-2021 14:17
F1 News
Christian Horner concerned: Mercedes look very competitive

Lewis Hamilton topped the second three practice sessions and beat his rival for the World Championship by over six-tenths. The performance from Mercedes was impressive and this has concerned Red Bull Racing and Christian Horner. But the Red Bull boss looks at the long-run data to see the positives. 

All to play for

This is the final weekend in the Formula 1 season and the World Championship is still up for grabs. Mercedes and Red Bull Racing are engaged in an intense battle, and Mercedes looked positive on the timesheets. But the long-run data proves Red Bull still have a strong chance. 

"We got plenty of data and areas we need to tidy up overnight. It'll be a long evening here and back in Milton Keynes to tidy up the car. Long-run pace looked sensible we've got to tidy up the balance for the short runs. Mercedes look very competitive here, certainly the first two sectors. Sector three we come back at them, but we've got 24 hours to find a better set-up and better pace," Horner told Sky Sports.

In the long runs where Red Bull performed better, Verstappen split his time with two different tyres. He started on the soft compound before switching to the medium tyre. This could indicate Red Bull are thinking about a two-stop. Horner gives his thoughts on tyre wear given that the track layout has changed in 2021. 

"It's on the cusp, tyre wear will be a factor. Particularly the long left-hander puts a lot of energy into the tyre. 50/50 depending on which way you look at it," Horner added. 

Spicy engine

Mercedes will install Hamilton's 'spicy' engine on Saturday. Horner knows this could improve Mercedes' performance, but seems to indicate that Red Bull and Verstappen will be able to find more improvements. 

"That engine has given them a significant amount of performance. We've got to make our lap time in a different way and we will do the best we can to do that to qualifying as high as we can. The form is with Lewis and Mercedes. we've got one shot and we'll give it everything. Max has driven with heart and bravery, he'll do the same this weekend. If he can pull this off, it'll be the biggest thing we've done in this sport for sure," Horner added. 

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