Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes Ferrari’s Formula 1 power unit is now more powerful than Mercedes’.
The world champions have set the standard for F1 engines since the current V6 hybrid turbo formula was introduced in 2014. While varying downforce levels makes it difficult to judge which teams has the best straight-line speed, Horner pointed to the performance of Ferrari’s engine customer teams as a sign of the progress they’ve made.
Red Bull were unable to keep the quicker Ferraris behind in the race, Horner pointed out.
“You could see how hard Max [Verstappen] was having to work to keep Kimi [Raikkonen] behind him. Their over-speed at the restart was insane.
“Max had to go around the outside of him again at turn seven, Luffield, to take the position back. It was a great move by him.
“If you look at the rear wings on the cars as well we’re running Spa levels of downforce and everybody else is running that bit more.
“I think in qualifying every single corner we were quicker than Sebastian [Vettel] but we just hose time down the straights.”
Ferrari, like Mercedes, also have the advantage of being able to extract more power from their engine for short bursts in qualifying and when overtaking, Horner added.
“You can see when they run their qualifying modes. We ran our qualifying modes. We ran our qualifying mode at the restart versus Kimi’s and you can see the difference.”
Lewis Hamilton pointed out early in the season that Ferrari’s straight-line speed has become one of their key strengths.
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