'I would be very much mistaken if Mercedes were now betting on next season'

06-07-2021 12:50 | Updated: 06-07-2021 13:53
by GPblog.com
F1 News
'I would be very much mistaken if Mercedes were now betting on next season'

After seven years of dominance, Mercedes seems to be losing it this season. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are already 44 points behind Red Bull Racing in the Constructors' Championship and Max Verstappen is also well ahead of Hamilton in the drivers' standings.

Entire package has been improved

Norbert Haug worked for Mercedes for over twenty years as vice president of motorsport and was personally responsible for the manufacturer's return to Formula 1 in 1994. In 1998, McLaren won the constructors' title, which was repeated in 2009 with Brawn GP. In 2012, Haug left Mercedes.

At Sport1.de Haug talks about the current form of Verstappen and 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."

Never write off Mercedes

According to Haug, however, the battle for the title is not over. "In the past, I was often ridiculed when I said that Mercedes should never be written off, but in the end it has always been true. Sometimes it takes a bit longer, but this assessment has always come true." The season is still long and Mercedes will not give in yet, according to Haug. "I would be very much mistaken if Mercedes now set its sights on the next season," he said.

Hamilton will also not want to write off his eighth title just yet this season. Haug believes this title is just as important to the Briton as the first seven. "Maybe even more important, should that even be possible."

Yet Haug thinks Verstappen has the better papers for the world title this season. "He probably has the slightly better technical equipment at the moment. Driving-wise, I think he and Lewis are about on par, although Max has yet to prove he can win consistently, even with a car that is fundamentally not superior."

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