'The peaks of Verstappen disguise the gap with Mercedes'

01-10-2020 16:04
by GPblog.com
F1 News
'The peaks of Verstappen disguise the gap with Mercedes'

After having to endure two DNF's, Max Verstappen was finally able to take the podium again in Russia. Although the Dutchman was not driving at his limit, the Grand Prix underlined the gap between Mercedes and Red Bull Racing, according to Scott MItchell.

In Sochi Max Verstappen showed his qualities again. In qualifying, the Dutchman was able to take second place on the grid and also showed his best side in the race, while teammate Alexander Albon had to settle for tenth place.

Scott Mitchell of The Race said the Sochi race looked good for Red Bull Racing. "On the mediums Verstappen fell away, but once he and Valtteri Bottas were on the hard tires, it looked good for Red Bull. Except for a few outliers, the average lap of Verstappen was only 0.028 of a second slower over the whole stint".

"That means Bottas was probably in race management mode, but Verstappen wasn't driving at the limit either. The end result, 7.7 seconds behind Bottas and 15 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton, suggests that Red Bull was a number two at a short distance, on a track where they normally don't do well," says Mitchell.

The inevitable truth

That just doesn't mean that the differences would be the same if the circumstances were different. "The inevitable truth is that Verstappen was only as competitive as Bottas when he was no longer competing for victory. It doesn't matter if you're faster in fifteen or twenty laps, if the margins are small and Mercedes has already built up a 12 second lead".

After the Grand Prix, Bottas said he didn't feel threatened by Verstappen at any point in the race. The Dutchman also saw that during the second stint it was an impossible task to overtake. "He was too far ahead of me", the driver said after the race. Clearly there is still a lot of work to be done for Red Bull Racing.

Check out the latest news

You will be logged out and redirected to the homepage