Mercedes F1 can still stop Red Bull if "we perform at our best"

Mercedes is adamant that it can still overhaul Red Bull and win this year's Formula 1 world championship if it performs at its best.

Max Verstappen's triumph at the French Grand Prix helped him and Red Bull extend their lead in F1's title battles.

On a weekend when Red Bull's straightline-speed advantage was believed to have played a pivotal role in its victory over Mercedes, there are growing indications that the Milton Keynes-based team now has a pace advantage.

But while Mercedes chases answers about how it got its strategy wrong at Paul Ricard on Sunday, the team is adamant that the season is far from lost.

Mercedes trackside engineering director Andrew Shovlin is convinced that his team has everything it needs to still win the title, but he knows it cannot sit back and expect an easy time.

"The way we look at it is this team at its best can beat Red Bull," he said. "I think [in France] we saw that the opportunities we missed were the difference.

"We know it's going to be difficult. We think that they [Red Bull] are the favourites. Clearly they've got a very good package, but if we perform at our best we can beat them and we can win the championship."

Read Also:

Mercedes appeared to have the race pace to be able to beat Red Bull at Paul Ricard, but it crucially lost track position at the first stops after miscalculating the strength of the undercut.

Shovlin says that the slim competitive differences between his team and Red Bull mean that there is no room for errors in the way races are executed.

Which is why, having had a car that was capable of winning in France, losing out to Red Bull on the strategy front was especially frustrating.

"It is annoying, because I think we could have won the race," added Shovlin. "I think we could have had two cars on the podium.

"We're in a championship where we can't really afford to let these opportunities go by. We've got a good race car, and we showed that [in the race].

"I think we're lacking a bit in qualifying, but in terms of the race, on a normal circuit, we are able to put them under pressure. But we know that to do that, to win races, we've got to be next to perfect.

"There's plenty of things that we can go away and reflect on and say that we didn't do a good enough job with. We're pretty good at being brutal with ourselves and analyzing it.

"So we're going to do that for a couple of days and hopefully come back in Austria stronger."

shares
comments

Related video

Aston hopes French GP result silences F1 cheating accusations
Previous article

Aston hopes French GP result silences F1 cheating accusations

Next article

Red Bull baffled by Mercedes F1 engine comments

Red Bull baffled by Mercedes F1 engine comments
Load comments
The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race Prime

The line Verstappen finally crossed in F1's first Jeddah race

OPINION: Max Verstappen has made the 2021 Formula 1 championship. He’s taken the fight to the all-conquering Mercedes squad and its dominant champion, produced driving displays few can match. But he’s been on a controversial course too, and finally crossed a particular line in Jeddah

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer Prime

Why thrilling Jeddah F1 circuit needs to be safer

OPINION: Saudi Arabia's new F1 circuit delivered a memorable first event, although not necessarily for all the right reasons. In the wake of the chaotic race, drivers voiced their concerns about the track but small changes could make significant improvements ahead of a return in four months.

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain Prime

The long-term F1 vision causing Haas’s short-term pain

From ranking as one of the most impressive new teams to join the Formula 1 grid, Haas’s stock has plummeted along with its on-track performances over the past two seasons. Everything now hangs on whether its reforged alliance with Ferrari can deliver a better car – and whether its rookie drivers can set aside their quarrels. Oleg Karpov asks if any of these goals are achievable…

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021