A major upgrade package ensured Mercedes’ most competitive performance of the season at Barcelona. George Russell was third, scoring his second podium of the year. Lewis Hamilton was penultimate after a puncture on the first lap, but fought his way up to fifth place. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff even dared to say that the W13 was the fastest race car on Sunday and once again believes in his team’s chances for the title.
But Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says Mercedes’ competitive form needs to be put into context and that the German manufacturer is still no faster than the Maranello stable even in 2021. “First of all, congratulations to Mercedes. They did well and the car’s speed has improved a lot,” said the Italian boss Sky Sports, who then dives into the numbers of the racing team. “In qualifying they were seven tenths down on the pace and that over a short distance. In the race they were thirty seconds behind Red Bull, which could have been forty behind Charles. Forty seconds in 66 laps, that’s still six or seven tenths per lap.” . That is significant. It’s a bit like Ferrari last year.”
While Binotto isn’t too carried away by where Mercedes is now, Red Bull are aware of the potential of the Brackley side. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner saw how quickly you could find your way back into the championship standings after a few teething problems and sees Mercedes as having a similar chance. Looking at the turnaround between Red Bull and Ferrari, Horner says: “I think that shows how quickly things can change. We were around 40 points behind Australia and now travel to Monaco with six points. That shows how quickly things can change.” in Formula 1. That’s why I don’t write off Mercedes with the number of points that are still up for grabs. We know that Ferrari is very fast, but we also know that things can change quickly.”