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Horner surprised by Mercedes engine change: 'The speed is phenomenal'
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Horner surprised by Mercedes engine change: 'The speed is phenomenal'

12-10-2021 10:25 Last update: 11:11


Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner can be satisfied with Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez after they both managed to finish on the podium at the Turkish Grand Prix, but meanwhile, he's certainly keeping an eye on Mercedes. After the Turkish GP, he was surprised that Mercedes had changed Lewis Hamilton's engine, as the car's speed has increased a lot.

Lewis Hamilton was forced to start from eleventh on the grid in Turkey due to a ten-place grid penalty after a fourth internal combustion engine was fitted to his car. Horner was surprised that this was necessary as the engine still seems to be performing well.

"Their straight-line speed has taken a significant step recently and I think that whereas we could match them with smaller wings previously, now we can't get near. We saw that particularly at this circuit where Lewis, in particular, had a significant straight-line advantage with a bigger rear wing on the car. We've got to maximise our package as best we can and, as I say, it's surprising that they've made the step that they have with the power unit," the team boss told the Formula 1.

No protest, but there are concerns

Horner stresses that they have not lodged a protest, but like many other teams have raised questions with the FIA and others. The fact is that at the moment Mercedes have a higher speed on the straight than they would have with DRS open.

"I mean, if you look at the straight-line speed of particularly Lewis [in the race], it was like 15 to 20 [km/h] up after the kink on the straight. It’s phenomenal. We’ve got to find a bit of straight-line speed – maybe they were running a different downforce configuration, but some speed to find."

Mercedes technical chief is eager

Andrew Shovlin, the technical chief of Mercedes is very happy with the car at the moment and therefore feels that this is a car that can win the championship. This certainly takes away some concerns from the team.

"It’s really reassuring that we are now getting into the last six, that we’ve shown we’ve got a package that can out-qualify [Red Bull] on a Saturday and out-race them on a Sunday," he said.

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