Verstappen contradicts Wolff: "Mercedes will start as favourite"

25-02-2021 15:25 | Updated: 25-02-2021 15:27
Verstappen contradicts Wolff: Mercedes will start as favourite

Max Verstappen covered his first fifty kilometres with the RB16B at the Silverstone circuit, but it did not give a real impression of how good the 2021 car really is. The 23-year-old from Limburg further argues that Mercedes is the favourite when the Formula One circus arrives in Bahrain.

During the filming day the car was driven on demo tyres and the engine was not fully open. "So yes, you can't say anything about that yet," said Verstappen, who actually indicated that nothing meaningful could be said about it until the normal Pirelli tyres are in place.

Toto Wolff said Red Bull are the favourites for the season opener at the Bahrain International Circuit, as Max Verstappen won the last Grand Prix of 2020 in Abu Dhabi. Speaking to and others, Verstappen takes a slightly different view. "Mercedes will start as favourite, they almost have to. They still had the most dominant car at the end of last season and also gave up on further development much earlier."

More horsepower from Honda?

2021 also marks the final year of the partnership with Honda. The Japanese engine manufacturer has brought forward by a year the engine that was actually intended for 2022. Compared to last season a huge step forward would have been made, but Verstappen keeps a wary eye on the situation.

"We worked a lot with Honda last winter and it looks positive, but I don't want to create hype. That makes no sense at all. I'd rather we stay under the radar a bit and concentrate on our own work. It's better to talk on the track rather than off it," concludes the ten-time Grand Prix winner.

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