Horner on Mercedes engine: 'Seems to have some reliability issues'

13-10-2021 14:51 | Updated: 13-10-2021 16:41
by GPblog.com
F1 News
Horner on Mercedes engine: 'Seems to have some reliability issues'

Although Mercedes once again had the fastest car at Istanbul Park during the Turkish Grand Prix, the team once again failed to maximise their performance. Valtteri Bottas may have won the race, but he was joined on the podium by two men in white Red Bull Racing overalls who took the other two trophies. Still, Red Bull's team boss isn't entirely confident.

Stronger Mercedes?

If Hamilton hadn't had a grid penalty for an engine change he probably would have taken the race quite smoothly to himself, as Bottas wouldn't really have been an obstacle. Speaking to Auto, Motor und Sport Horner also saw a fast Mercedes: "It was particularly noticeable with Lewis that he had a significant advantage in top speed despite having a bigger wing. In direct comparison he was driving ten to 15 km/h faster in some cases. That came as a bit of a surprise to us that they made such a big step with the power unit."

And then there's the strategy off the track. For are engine changes still up in the air for both teams? Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff previously indicated that he was not yet sure whether any parts would need to be renewed on Hamilton's car. Horner says: "Normally Max should be able to make it to the end of the season without any more penalties. We now have three engines in our pool that we can use. But you can never be sure enough. Mercedes seem to have some reliability issues, but their performance is still impressive."

End of season

With the US Grand Prix just around the corner, there are some circuits coming up that usually suit Red Bull well. Does Horner see it the same way? "We know Austin has been firmly in Hamilton's hands for a few years now. We should be stronger in Mexico and Brazil, which are higher above sea level. What happens next in the last three races, nobody can say. It's going to be a fascinating finish. We have to do our homework and can't afford any mistakes."

In any case, this season gives us a blistering battle between Hamilton and Verstappen, but in two months' time we'll know for sure which of the two can crown themselves champions: "This really is a great season with many different winners. It's almost a shame that all the rules will change for next year. In the final sprint, some random factors will certainly play a role. Engine penalties can and will become a factor. The weather could also affect the battle for the world championship. It's just going to be a fascinating two months," Horner said.

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