It’s about tense. In the next ten weeks it will be decided who will be the Formula 1 champion of 2021. Will it be Max Verstappen, or Lewis Hamilton? Helmut Marko looks ahead.
All season long, momentum in Formula 1 has fluctuated from Red Bull to Mercedes and back again. The last race was a prey for Lewis Hamilton, while Max Verstappen also achieved a particularly good result. As a result, the damage for Red Bull was not too bad after two race weekends that on paper would be for Mercedes.
There are now seven races to go and according to Marko it is about tenseness, he says in conversation with Auto Motor und Sport. Russia was the last track where Mercedes will clearly be better, he thinks. This is partly due to the long straight. “The longer, the more time we lose on them. From the start to the end of the straight.”
Mercedes accelerates faster and also at the end of the straight they benefit longer from the power from the hybrid parts. That was different this season, but Mercedes has got things back on track after Honda had the upper hand for a period.
Although there seem to be no more circuits that are clearly in favor of a specific team, there are still some question marks. This weekend, for example, when the Formula 1 circus lands in Turkey. Last year they returned there for the first time since 2011, but the conditions were bad. It is therefore difficult to estimate whether the result was representative at the time.
Marko knows that too, he says. “It depends on each circuit which team has the best chassis. It will be difficult to estimate who will have the upper hand in Turkey,” said the Red Bull adviser. After that, however, there will be some circuits that are clearly in Red Bull’s favor on paper, he thinks.
“After Turkey, there are three tracks that suit us: Austin, Mexico and Brazil,” predicts Marko. Verstappen was already very successful in Mexico and Brazil, in particular, while he always came out strong in Austin. Christian Horner also thinks the same. “We have always been strong in Brazil and Mexico.”
Two more unknown circuits will be added later, in Qatar and Saudi Arabia. “We know nothing about that at all. Nothing about Qatar, nothing about Jeddah,” said Horner.