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Red Bull chief explains how Max Verstappen will close the gap on Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 25, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Image source: Lars Baron/Getty Images


Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Red Bull still have plenty in their locker. Lewis Hamilton won three of the four races so far this season but Max Verstappen has been painfully close to the top step.

Red Bull has perhaps had a speed advantage in qualifying, but Mercedes seems to be holding the edge when it comes to managing tyres over longer runs.

I think the Mercedes, and we’ve seen it since Bahrain, their race pace has been better than ours at each GP that we’ve seen so far,” Horner said. “I think that their degradation has been better than ours.

“So we knew these last two circuits would play to their strengths. They have done that. But we’re an awful lot closer than we have been and I think if we can find some more race pace it’s still very, very tight between the two cars.”

Hamilton has now extended his lead in the standings to 14 points over Verstappen.

We are still not really at a stage where we go in thinking we’ve got a better race car or we are better at looking after the tyres,” he explained.

“It is actually quite hard to say what it was [in the Spanish GP]. We were able to sit behind them and, when you are the lead car and someone can sit on your gearbox for a whole stint, it is not normally good news.

“But we are still in the stage of the year where we are collecting data across the different tracks. But it does look to be a bit of a trend that maybe we have got a slightly more neutral car.

“Theirs seems to be a bit harder on the rear tyres over a stint whereas we are using both axles quite well. But we will see with some more data whether that is really a feature of the car or just how we are setting it up.”


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