Red Bull wonders about a sudden engine superiority from Mercedes, which is said to have existed since Silverstone – first knocking at the FIA
Red Bull took back the World Cup lead with Max Verstappen in Istanbul, but the bulls are still ringing the alarm bells. It’s about the engine from Mercedes, which is said to have become significantly faster since Silverstone. This was particularly evident in Istanbul.
Red Bull speaks of “15 to 20 km h”, which Lewis Hamilton is said to have been faster on the straights. “That is more than with an open DRS”, notes team boss Christian Horner.
The reasons for this are a mystery to Red Bull. “Maybe you drove with a different downforce configuration,” puzzles Horner. But the trend has been going on for a few races. “It’s been like this since Silverstone, and engine superiority is increasing,” says Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko at ‘Sky’. “We have to come up with something.”
But Red Bull also has to touch its own nose. Because Max Verstappen was only “flashed” at 297.1 km / h in Turkey – as the slowest of all drivers! For comparison: Hamilton’s top speed was 310.7 km/h.
Red Bull has scheduled a crisis meeting in Milton Keynes for the coming week. They want to see what else can be done to improve the situation. “I don’t know if our Honda people have an antidote,” says Marko. “We just have to optimize our chassis even more so that we can at least partially compensate for that.”
Otherwise you fear that the World Cup could be really tight. Next up is the race in the USA. “And Austin is Hamilton country,” says Horner. “We really have to do our best.”
At the same time, Red Bull has also brought the FIA on board and is expecting answers about the Mercedes engine, even if Horner emphasizes: “We have not lodged a protest!” They just raised a few questions, what he says “all teams are doing”.
“It wasn’t just Red Bull, other manufacturers have raised questions and are still doing so,” he clarifies. “It’s up to the FIA to look at it and monitor it. But when you have a speed that is higher than with the DRS open, that’s pretty impressive,” he notes.