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Button: 'Wouldn't say they are fourth tenths faster than Mercedes'
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Button: 'Wouldn't say they are fourth tenths faster than Mercedes'

19-11-2021 13:36 Last update: 17:45


Max Verstappen was four tenths ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the first free practice session and Lewis Hamilton was more than seven tenths behind the Dutchman. However, Jenson Button has said that Red Bull Racing should not be seen as the dominant force for the remainder of the Qatar GP weekend.

FP1 looked good for Verstappen, but Button doesn't think the gap to Mercedes is as big as the result shows. "Red Bull need to be competitive. Looking at the times, I wouldn't say they are fourth tenths faster than Mercedes," he told Sky Sports. "I really don't think they are."

The one-time world champion followed the W12 for a few laps and came to the following conclusion: "When watching the Mercedes on track, it looks really good. They just haven't quite got the balance together, they'll be right up there with Red Bull," Button said.

Mercedes with old engines?

There is a suspicion that Mercedes is running with old engines. In Formula 1 this happens more often on Fridays, because if something happens to the engine then they can always switch to the fresh, better power unit. Moreover, this way of working saves kilometres, which means that from the moment that parc fermé applies they can drive with a higher engine level.

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