Mercedes hit out at Red Bull: Fingers crossed that will really f*ck them up

Despite a strong start to the 2024 season, Red Bull's recent struggles could open the door for Formula 1 rivals

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Mercedes‘ technical director, James Allison, has raised concerns that Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship leaders Red Bull might have taken a step back with their latest car upgrade.

Despite a commanding start to the season, Red Bull has only secured one win in the last three races, even after introducing an upgrade package at the 2024 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. Max Verstappen did win at Imola with the upgraded RB20, but his margin of victory was a narrow 0.7 seconds over McLaren‘s Lando Norris, the smallest gap this season. This has led to questions regarding the effectiveness of Red Bull’s recent modifications.

Allison expects that Red Bull will bounce back from the Spanish Grand Prix onwards, as the upcoming circuits should be more favourable for the RB20. Nevertheless, he cautions that if Red Bull‘s development has indeed faltered, they might find themselves in a vulnerable position.

“My guess is that as soon as there’s a decent range of cornering speeds, they will be useful again,” Allison told the press in Montreal. “But it does look as if their upgrade was a downgrade, so fingers crossed that will really f*ck them up.”

Max Verstappen during practice ahead of the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen during practice ahead of the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull’s Performance Decline

James Allison has noted Red Bull‘s decreasing dominance in the F1 field. The races at Imola and Monaco posed significant challenges for the team, and even Verstappen‘s squad does not view themselves as favourites for the upcoming Canadian Grand Prix.

Despite these difficulties, Allison believes that Red Bull will still play a crucial role for the remainder of the season. “I guess as soon as there’s a decent range of cornering speeds, they’ll be useful again,” he stated.

Allison highlighted the possible issues with Red Bull’s latest upgrade. “That makes life hard because the moment you stop trusting your tools, you backtrack and you start losing time,” he explained. “And time is your biggest friend and losing it is your worst enemy.”

Mercedes has faced its own set of challenges this season, often appearing as the fourth fastest team. However, following a series of upgrades in Imola, Monaco, and ahead of the Canadian GP, Allison believes that Mercedes is now on the cusp of competing at the front.

“Where we are now seems to be better than where we were two races ago,” Allison added. “Hopefully it will be somewhat better in a couple of races from now. We’ve gone from being really embarrassingly crap or not good enough in the beginning of the year, to being near the fight. A little bit more will get us right in the melee.”

Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images
Lewis Hamilton at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images

Mercedes’ Improvement

Mercedes has shown significant improvement following recent upgrades. Despite a difficult start to the season, Allison is hopeful about the team’s progress. “Where we are now seems to be better than where we were two races ago,” he said. “Hopefully it will be somewhat better in a couple of races from now.”

The recent enhancements have positioned Mercedes closer to the leaders. “We’ve gone from being really embarrassingly crap or not good enough in the beginning of the year, to being near the fight,” Allison noted. “A little bit more will get us right in the melee.”

The recent challenges faced by Red Bull and the progress made by Mercedes suggest a potential shift in the competitive dynamics of Formula 1. As the season moves forward, it will be crucial to see if Red Bull can address their issues and if Mercedes can maintain their upward trend.

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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