Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2021

Hamilton expects bigger deficit when Red Bull “turn that engine up”

2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton ended second practice at the Red Bull Ring within four-tenths of a second of championship rival Max Verstappen, but suspects the gap will grow tomorrow.

Verstappen set the pace in both Styrian Grand Prix practice sessions today, and ended the day 0.384 seconds faster than the Mercedes driver. The pair were separated by two other cars, and Hamilton suspects there is more to come from Red Bull’s Honda power unit.

“It wasn’t feeling too bad,” said Hamilton. “I think it’s very close with the whole pack.

“The Red Bulls, definitely, will be really hard to beat. I think they’ve just got the edge, maybe more. We don’t know what they’re going to do when they turn that engine up.”

Red Bull have beaten Mercedes for the last three races in a row, leaving Hamilton 12 points behind his rival in the championship. However, he has seen signs of progress in today’s running.

“I didn’t really have too many big problems today. I’m happier with where we got the car to. I’ve been working flat-out all week trying to understand where I wanted to put the car and I’m hopeful that the hard work starts paying off soon.”

“We were a little bit down, obviously, particularly over a single lap,” he added. “Generally over the day, the car felt relatively solid.

“I’ve got some weaknesses and as I said, coming into the weekend, we’re losing on the straight [by] a considerable amount. So we’ve just got to keep working to try and rectify that.”

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2021 Styrian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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60 comments on “Hamilton expects bigger deficit when Red Bull “turn that engine up””

  1. Might be worth speaking to the FIA about it – they could put a limit on Red Bull’s engine.

    1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
      25th June 2021, 16:46

      “The new directive, TD1053R (also referred to as: ‘loser’) refers to article 13.3.7 (also: ‘LEET’) of the technical regulations which imposes restrictions on Red Bull regarding the use of a V6 Power Unit made by Honda. Because Honda has decided to change the name of its ‘Power Unit to: Honda e:TECHNOLOGY’, the cars of Red Bull Racing Honda no longer comply with the regulation that requires team to use the same Power Unit from last year. The breaking of the regulation will result in removing as many points from Red Bull Racing Honda as needed in order to ensure Petronas AMG Mercedes F1 wins the championships.”

  2. Oh Lewis, I thought you’d welcomed the competition.

    1. He does. But he understands that he’s going to have to work harder to win.

    2. How does him saying Red Bulls are faster in straights negate that?

    3. Maybe you guys who react to the headlines should read the articles first?

    4. Yes, as long as he is wins. Which isn’t the case now. Haha. Which is to be expected from an elite sports professional.

      I’m not taking these headlines at face value, I haven’t watched the interviews from this weekend. I’ll say one thing about Lewis, he gets very awkward in interviews when he isn’t winning, or when isn’t happy about something, especially when there is perceived injustice at his expense. I don’t think he meant it when he was insinuating that Red Bull have upgraded their engines, but it certainly came out that way, and that sort of sound bite is enough to discredit him.

      The fact is simple, Red Bull as a team are ahead in all aspects thus far. Lewis has made mistakes and should be further behind. No doubt in my mind Mercedes will come back strong in the second half.

    5. You guys are right that I was too focused on the headline. If I’m correct it’s still allowed to tune your engine down for practice, as long as you run it in the same mode for qualifying and the race.

  3. Go cry somewhere else Lewis, you are just being a sore loser the last few weeks.

    First the rear wing – according to you that cost Red Bull 0.6 seconds
    Than their straight line speed – according to you that cost Red Bull 0.3 seconds
    Earlier their pitstop times – which cost Red Bull 0.3 seconds
    Now the are not allowed to turn up their engines.

    You say you welcome competition but only if you can still win, not when you get beaten. Any admiration or respect I had for you in earlier years has completely evaporated this season with your sore loser behavior.

    1. Exactly. I seem to remember him saying he relished a challenge from Max and wanted the competition. He’s so full of it.

      1. So “relishing the competition” means saying that Red Bulls are slower when they clearly aren’t?

    2. Do you ever watch these interviews or you just come to mouth off based on your selective reading of what’s reported?

    3. I worry about the IQ level of the average VER fan. Can you guys read?

  4. I don’t think Mercedes realise the irony of them pointing out the strength of the Honda engine when the shoe was on the other foot until recently.
    I get that Mercedes are of course trying to use whatever they can to get an advantage, but talking about their opponent’s engine, rear wing, tyres et cetera every race is pretty grating when they had all those strengths before. It’s the typical ‘play up the opponents’ strategy which has been old since at least 2019.

    1. So what do you want Lewis to say? Should he not comment on what is clearly a very good power unit simply because it will sound “grating” to you?

      1. The Honda is a good unit yes but that Mercedes is pretty close on power – ie the truth.

      2. Emma considering that last weekend LH tried to imply Honda had brought an upgrade, all the while confirming the engines are homologated, which was saying two different things, and now he still seems to be implying they haven’t cranked their engine up yet this weekend, like as if Mercedes has done so for practice, then yes I think LH could have answered in a more genuine way. I think it would have sounded more balanced for him to say that ‘neither of us is likely running our engines fully cranked yet, and who knows what fuel loads they had, so let’s see how we each evolve our cars come Q3. That Honda engine sure is strong though.’

        Instead he chooses his wording to play it like they have a bit of an unfair advantage, and that makes his comments fair game to be critiqued. Like we’re to just forget he had a fresh pu two races ago? All that seemed to have meant to RBR and the Sky commentators was that they had a fresh engine…not an upgrade. And no teams crank their pu fully up for Friday practice that I’m aware of.

        1. Maybe he should just say we don’t know how much faster they will be once they crank up their party mode? A lot of people never had a problem with that being spouted regularly over the last seven years.

          1. That was because the mercedes engine had an advantage for years. And according to Patty Lowe they turned the engine down to avoid interference by Fia .
            The party mode showed the true potential of the engine. But the fact was Mercedes engines seems more vulnerable with high torque scenarios. So a lot of engine changes was the result.
            (even more then Renault, so that tells something)

  5. Come on Champ! Go Lewis go!

    1. Yes, go Lewis…..right into the gravel trap.

  6. Lewis had a lap deleted that was actually faster than Max’s. It didn’t seem that he went over the line by much. Surely that’s worth mentioning in the article.

    1. @j-l It’s practice so it doesn’t really matter, and if he went out, he went out. No questions asked if that’s a corner they’re monitoring. Max was slightly out at T4/T14 at Portimao in Q3/the race. He was still out and both got deleted.

      1. @randommallard I’m certainly not arguing against that, it just seems like relevant information regarding the pace of the car.

    2. Indeed, it showed the mercs were on par.
      These mistakes are not important in fp. The time shows the potential.

  7. I was sick of Hamilton about five years ago, now, I just find him insufferable and petulant.

    1. That’s how most of us think about you.

      1. Good, because Hammy fans are just as insufferable as he is. I don’t exist to please you people.

      2. A personal attack to defend Hamilton. Who would have thought Hamilton fans would stoop that low? /irony

        Post reported.

    2. You are not allowed to have any forms of criticism on sir Lewis. He is a forum Saint
      Take Bottas or Verstappen. They like those…

      1. I would imagine most on here do not consider blankenship posting regularly on here that they hope Ham crashes as a valid form of criticism.
        Obviously you feel differently as you regularly applaud such posts.

    3. 5 years? after Hungary 2007 the guy can’t get any worse, that’s a metaphysical impossibility.
      However, he keeps reminding us every now and then he remains rock bottom

      1. Hamilton is not too bad. It’s his fans.

        1. Don’t take notice of their existence

        2. Yeah that’s my main issue. I don’t ming Hamilton but his fans are sometimes insufferable

    4. I turned my back on Max three years ago, now, I still don’t regret it.

  8. Remember when he openly mocked Honda on a press conference, something even Alonso felt slightly embarassed about?
    Well, well….

  9. Is he implying they themselves have run so far this weekend with their engine turned all the way up? Likely not.

    I expect it to be very close between Max and LH again this weekend. LH just likes to play the sympathy card. Woe is us.

  10. I’m finding it hard to believe all those whining in these comments have actually read the article, instead of just the headline and then jumping to conclusions.

    At least they’re not making any attempt to hide their bias any more.

    1. You know – following Osaka’s refusal to do press stuff at the French Open, I’m increasingly of the view that all elite athletes should just do the same. It just beats me going through these comments and seeing how completely silly they are especially if you also watch the exchange in question. Maybe we’d all be better off only watching the action on track and never having the stars talk off it.

      1. So ad I said elsewhere, only positive remarks about sir Lewis.
        There are 19 other drivers to kick as you like.

          1. Hey Swifty, since you’re being so helpful, here’s a training I’m sure you will find relevant:

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Znv3YVqqbL8

  11. Lewhine strikes again
    I guess that wheezing sound from the Mercedes on board isn’t the engine after all

  12. I was looking for discussion about FP results but it seems I stumbled into the Instagram or YT comments sections, except somehow less amusing.

  13. I didn’t see LW complaining. He’s just pointing that RBs are faster and will be even more with engine at full power. I’m not sure Mercs will comeback this year.

    It’s me or Honda improves way more always that they are leaving or leave the championship?

    1. This could also make some sort of sense, going full out last year before leaving.

  14. Mercedes will likely be faster in race trim again, but Red Bull going for the low drag setup to negate DRS, and then it’s anybody’s race.

    It’s a brave man to bet against Mercedes strategy skill despite a few failures lately. Maybe just why.

    1. I don’t rate their strategy as particularly good, but like you said the race pace, it’s almost like a trend now.

  15. Paul Direstofthem
    25th June 2021, 23:22

    Don’t leave Honda! Just when you got good you are off. It’s 2008 all over again. Yes time was wasted with McLaren unfortunately but you have found the right synergy with Red Bull

    Reply moderated
  16. Hamilton is pushing the ‘stronger Honda engine’ narrative very hard, but it isn’t true.

    The Mercedes customer teams were quicker than RBR in a straight line last week in France. It was just Mercedes itself that was slow, probably due to running more wing. RBR had to run a Monza spec wing to keep up with the Merc customers even.

    1. To recap the sudden upswing of RB performance has come with the changes to the aerodynamics regulations. These regulation changes seem to favour RB’s High rake design. Mercedes since those rule changes have been playing catchup. The question now is have RB used this period to introduce other changes? We’ve seen the flexiwing. Have they been given the green light allowing them to use other tricks and tweaks we don’t yet know of?

      Is this a case of RB being allowed to do whatever it takes to prevent an 8th championship going to Hamilton?

  17. Geez, don’t you guys understand how the press works?

    Hamilton was very likely asked a question which invited his response. We don’t see the question, but it should be taken as implied in his response.

    He didn’t just blurt out on x, but was first asked for his thoughts on x. Geez you guys.

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