Horner’s scepticism vindicated as Mercedes confirm they will upgrade 2021 car

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by and

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff’s indication the team would not bring any further updates to its car this season was met with a sceptical reaction by his opposite number at Red Bull, Christian Horner.

Now Horner’s suspicions have been confirmed as Mercedes’ chief technical officer confirmed they will indeed bring new parts to their car this year.

Speaking after Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix, Wolff was asked whether the team “basically don’t have any development to come this year?”

“That’s basically what I’m saying, yes,” said Wolff.

“It is a very, very tricky decision because we are having new regulations not only for next year, but for the years to come,” he explained. “It’s a completely different car concept. And you’ve got to choose the right balance and pretty much everybody is going to be on next year’s car.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2021
Red Bull brought vans full of new parts, said Wolff
“Some may still bring stuff, I mean, Red Bull both trucks or vans Thursday and Friday with new parts. And fair enough, it’s a strategy and one that proves to be successful as it stands, because today they were simply they were simply in a league of their own, pace-wise.”

Lewis Hamilton, who finished a distant second to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on Sunday, underlined the team’s claim it does not intend to add new parts to their car.

“I’m not going to question the team’s logic and how they go through with their process,” he said. “We would love an upgrade, but I don’t think it’s in the pipeline at the moment.”

But Horner cast doubt on his rivals’ claim they will not bring any new parts for the team’s W12 over the remaining 15 races.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

“What Mercedes do is very much their business, so we just focus on ourselves,” he said. “We know that Toto loves to throw the light somewhere else.

Allison described Mercedes’ coming upgrades
“I cannot believe that they’ll go through the rest of this year without putting a single component on the car. All we can do is focus on our own job. Of course it is a balancing act between this year and next year but if that means we’ve all got to work a bit harder, then the team’s fully up for it.”

But speaking to the official Formula 1 website, Mercedes’ chief technical officer James Allison revealed they do have new parts coming for their car this year.

“What Toto points out is that next year’s rules are a big and hairy affair and they demand a huge amount of our attention, and so most of the focus of our factory has switched over to the performance discovery for next year,” he said.

“But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things still in the food chain from prior to that focus switch and furthermore it isn’t all of the factory, and furthermore we’re only one of two factories there’s also the [power unit] factory and there is a little bit more to come from the [power unit].

“So there’s some more aerodynamic change in the offing, a little bit of [power unit], we hope, on the delivery side and just a few things that are not quite as tidy as we would wish that we still have an opportunity to put right while this season is still very much alive and hot.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2021 Austrian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

90 comments on “Horner’s scepticism vindicated as Mercedes confirm they will upgrade 2021 car”

  1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    29th June 2021, 13:11

    Of course they were going to upgrade their current car, does anyone actually believe anything Toto says?

    1. @rocketpanda Yeah it made no sense that they would essentially leave it at that with barely half the season done and so many points to be had and LH’s WDC lead a mere win and a Max dnf away. Of course both teams have to concentrate both on this year and next year at the same time, as do Mac and Ferrari since they want to beat Ferrari in the WCC and Ferrari want to prevent that.

      1. @robbie, in seasons past they could and did bring major upgrades during the season because they could spend what they want.

        This year the dependency is 100% budget based and if they’ve gotten close to what they anticipated spending for their 2021 car then yes I actually do expect them to “leave it as is”

        There certainly seemed to be a touch of arrogance about they way they prepared their 2021 car and I honestly believe they thought a combination of what they have and LH would be sufficient. I doubt anyone actually expected RBR to hit the ground running so we’ll either – they’ve not managed to do that for so long.

        To me, I think Merc have already accepted that they’ll have a hell of a fight with real limitations on what they (and RBR for that matter) can spend trying to make up any deficit and run a very real risk of not winning either the WDC or WCC this year.

        TBH I expect RBR to completely dominate the remainder of the season with similar gaps to last Sunday – Mercedes have fallen behind and I doubt there’s the budget there to catch up as it would have to be at the expense of 2022.

        1. @dbradock Good stuff. Hope you’re right. Just not ready to bet on that yet, lol, but as usual we have no choice but to take it one race at a time.

    2. There is no conflict, what Allison points out is that the updates where always in the pipe line prior to their decision to -mostly- focus on 2022

      1. Oh come on. Toto and Hamilton both said their would not be any new bits on the car and that it was all about optimizing the current package. Allison needs to take the lead from Toto who is clearly losing it.

        1. Well, it’s quite simple to me: allison is a honest person, and so is verstappen and to me it seems even the red bull leaders; the rest of mercedes mostly aren’t honest at all, this is a big reason why I got annoyed with mercedes, it’s not only about the dominance but about the attutide too.

          1. Such simplifications are truly not fitting for F1 environment. Or did you forgot what kind of stuff were Vettel/Horner/Marko feeding us in 2011 & especially 2013?

            Were Hamilton & Wolff intentionally misleading us/Red Bull with their claims? Possibly. On the other hand if it was some delicate plot why allow Allison to squash that almost immediately?

            On the other hand, can you trust that Verstappen/Horner/Red Bull are the honest ones? The teams & their drivers will always push their narratives – sometimes subtly, sometimes more aggressively & sometimes elegantly. That is the nature of Formula 1, and it is so strong that even after people leave, they still stick to their (sometimes formulate new ones) narrative – even retired F1 drivers do.

            If you want to orient yourself, you must stick to facts & your own reasoning. Whatever development is going on right now in both teams has been decided long ago & any decision that would be made now or in a weak time would hardly have impact on the ongoing season. The issue has most likely been already decided, we just need to wait for the specific outcomes.

    3. In a weird way – Toto does tell you the truth. Just take the opposite of what he says and it almost always turns out to be true. In his own way, he’s more reliable than anyone else in the paddock.

    4. I think most likely Toto was telling the truth, but then he or someone else at Mercedes realised it was not smart to say it out loud. Better to keep Red Bull thinking that they have to keep developing this year’s car, taking away focus from next year’s Red Bull car.

    5. This is further evidence that Wolf might be on his way out of Mercedes. The driver announcement plan and Bottas criticism already had me suspicious.

      Reply moderated
  2. I told so that Wolff is just the master of mind games. But I would not believe anyone of them in the media anymore. Just do the talking on the track. It’s nice to get these updates, but I no longer believe in any mind games because it is used by every team and at times quite obvious.

    1. At this point, its not mind games. Whatever Toto and Lewis say, the opposite is confirmed 100%

      1. Indeed, most of the times at least, exceptions are when he says they’re behind on races where actually red bull was faster like this one, but he’s perfectly capable of saying it even in france, when merc was fastest in the race, so…

    2. Wolff is just the master of mind games

      Not such a master, because nobody ever believes a word from TW’s mouth, and for good reason. The way for TW to mislead everyone would be to say the truth, just for once, everyone would believe the oppposite.

  3. I really think this was just an honest mistake from Toto: no new upgrades, just those that were planned and in production anyway. Just no new parts are being designed.

    1. They’ll likely have to design a new non-cheating front wing for one.

      1. Davethechicken
        30th June 2021, 16:08

        Is their front wing cheating? Why haven’t the other teams appealled to the stewards?
        Ps: Keep it simple now as a big brain like you can lose us all with the depths of your highly experienced insights. You might also want to let RBR know your amazing discovery so they can have the FIA investigate.

    2. if it is a mistake, he has made it for months on end. Hell it started last year with Toto saying no upgrades for 2021, our focus will be 2022.
      But who would have thought Merc would actually need any upgrades. Sergio can’t consistently challenge the Mercs, but Max can and that is why the change in tactics. They want to keep the train rolling, but now realize they may actually have to work a bit harder than in past years where Lewis normally relaxes for the final 4 or so races with title already in hand.
      The title is far from secured with less than 1/3 of season in the bag. One race and Lewis can be back in front and the narrative changes again.

      1. Bosco Moroz Agree with much of your comment but just to say I think Checo is only going to get more consistent and be more of a bother to Mercedes, and as well after this weekend it will be nine races completed, so depending on how the schedule shakes out in the end, we could this week be closer to nearly half the season done as opposed to less than 1/3 as you suggest.

        1. I agree Checo will get better, but he is not on the same level as Max. Max was super lucky to have had a father who understood how to teach his son racing, not driving. He used to put the best 5 Karters’ on the track and do 5 lap races where Jos had the fastest Kart. This taught the youngsters how to win in less than the best equipment. It taught that most races are fought in a relatively short span of laps. Max has shown over and over, he learned well. All of the true greats won and impressed in lesser equipment, then as the equipment matched their talent…well history is made.
          I am just glad to wake up on Sunday and see a race. It still is a 2 man show, but now it is between two great drivers and teams, instead of Lewis and his distant Merc teammate.

          1. Bosco Moroz Really well said. What I had also read about those little 5 lap sprint kart races was that with each one, you could only pass at a certain designated corner that was a different one from the previous race or the next race. Thought that was so cool too.

  4. Mark Polston
    29th June 2021, 14:04

    I really believe Merc thought no one could catch them. I think that’s why Lewis and company are so upset about Red Bull taking it to them, they simply weren’t expecting it. It’s a classic case of overconfidence suddenly hitting the reality of the situation. That’s why all of the talk of illegal engine upgrades and flexi wings etc etc. Shift the blame for being caught flat footed and then go into emergency recovery mode after your enemy has gained the initiative. Toto could teach snakes how to be a snake in my book.

    1. 0 chance. The rule changes killed their concept and the homologation and cost cap prevented them from changing it in less than a year.

      It’s amazing that folks just gloss over the most obvious answers to play (quite poorly) the role of psychologist extraordinaire.

      Reply moderated
  5. I think the significance of Honda’s upgrades caught Merc out, Honda has thrown everything at this years championship and it’s paid dividends. Lets see what Merc can do and how fast they can do it.

    1. With reportedly 5 trucks of upgrades and test parts turning up last weekend for RB, I don’t think Mercedes are going to get into a development race this year. And given these sorts of decisions are made the previous year, I wonder if this was one of the stumbling blocks to the 2021 Hamilton contract? A difficult year, with hopefully a head start over the others in 22?
      In hindsight if it was RBs intention to throw the kitchen sink at this years championship, so far it’s paying off.

      1. And RBR are doing all this without blowing past the spending cap. Not just development geniuses, but accounting gurus as well.

        1. @jimmi-cynic They are spending their money on this season while Mercedes is spending it on next season. It remains to be seen who got it right.

          1. Well looking at last season. When Toto announced the W11 did not get any upgrades because they aimed for 2021 it does not look good.

  6. I find it weird that Toto is always protesting against the fact that Mercedes will bring updates this year.

    1. @eurobrun Lol. Really though I wonder if the upgrades just won’t be enough anyway, ie. hardly noticeable, and that’s why he wants to make it seem like there won’t be any. I do however still find myself reserving more than a bit of caution because they have been such a dynasty and are playing lots of verbal games these days. While I’m quite confident now in Max’s chances for this weekend, I’ll not assume anything about Silverstone. I also wonder if the newer more robust rear tires coming will help Mercedes, and I don’t mean intentionally by Pirelli, but just they might allow Mercedes more setup options. Of course that could be said for RBR and everyone else too. But then there’s that nagging Mercedes dynasty thing, and that chance they might unlock something with the car yet.

      1. Indeed, I think reliability aside next week should be fine for red bull, even cause tyres will be softer and red bull tended to be better on softer tyres than merc this year, but silverstone will be very interesting to see, since both mercedes and hamilton are usually strong there, in austria normally hamilton is lacking a bit, and as you can see, bottas brought the challenge to perez this last race, hamilton couldn’t do it with verstappen.

      2. @robbie yeah, I agree. In particular I echo your thoughts on Silverstone. Especially with Hamilton in front of a very partisan crowd.

  7. How this is an issue I just don’t understand.
    Mercedes will not be allocating significant resources to developing the 2021 car and compared to their 2020 season it is as good as not developing the car. All this histrionics is just from those looking for reasons to complain about everything.

    1. OOliver Not sure what is hard to understand when it has been TW that has been the one stirring the pot all along, talking about this year vs next year and resource allocation more than any other TP, resulting in debate and commentary. After all they are a reigning dynasty and this season is turning out to be potentially historical, not like they all aren’t.

      1. One thing I’ve noticed about the way Mercedes/Wolff vs other teams relate with the media is that Mercedes usually go into too much detail which ends up getting misconstrued. Redbull/Horner on the other hand just like to deliberately bend reality until it is heading in the reverse direction and screw other people up because they seem to enjoy social discord.

        1. OOliver Can’t say I understand what you mean about RBR/Horner.

        2. Yeah completely agree. From Horner and Marko it’s just propaganda in sound bite format. With everything they say there is part of it that’s a lie or at the very least a spin on the truth. Plus they always leave out the details.

          1. And toto does not lie in sound bytes but in long sentences.
            Not sure if that is something to be proud about.

      2. There does seem to be a little that “gets lost in translation.”
        Question … who owns Mercedes Racing Team.? As far as I understand 1/3rd Ineos, 1/3rd Toto W. and 1/3rd Daimler.
        As a significant team owner, Toto W has an interest in making a profit as well as his role in running the team. End result, a challenging set of criteria to balance. Wonder if he signs his own pay-cheque.?
        It is easy to say “upgrades” and expect a never-ending stream of improvements. Not really the case, it is effectively a process pipeline.
        Someone needs to conceive of the upgrade, design the new parts, prototype them, test for performance and reliability then produce the actual component and you haven’t even loaded them onto the truck yet. This takes time, could be months or weeks depending on complexity and the interaction with other parts of the car. They might not even work.
        If RedBull wins the development race, it will be based on work they did months ago. At some point, the train gets parked and the process kicks over to the new car. When … good question, but it will be soon for both teams.
        Gonna be a Great Ride ….

    2. Spot on. It also appears a lot of people have forgotten there’s a budget cap this year (and the next) which means the top teams can’t spend as much as they’d want to anyway.

      1. And lies are cheap, thats for sure.

  8. I think the issue Mercedes have is that this years car didn’t work as intended, which would have ruined the schedule of upgrades they had planned (cause they wouldn’t work either). To leap ahead of red bull would require a fundamental change to their design philosophy and practically a new car. Which they seem like they won’t do with all the 2022 work required.

  9. and there is a little bit more to come from the [power unit].

    Don’t let Toto find out, he might protest if they’ll bring an (performance) ‘upgrade’ which is clearly against the rules.

    1. And yet Honda have said that they would rush an upgrade to their engines for France to prevent vibrations. Which will be presented as reliability upgrade no doubt, but in reality it just means they can run the engine harder.

      1. You clearly missed the sarcasm, but well done picking up on the indirect reference I made.

      2. Harder due to reliability concerns- ones that were well documented in Bahrain as having had them turn the engine down.

        They’ve not boosted the output, they’ve allowed the PU to run as it could all along, only now it won’t shake itself apart.

        1. So you agree that they gained performance with this upgrade. Thanks!

          1. No because the performance was already there. Its not hard to understand…

          2. If there is something under your pedal and you remove it, you do not gain performance. You just unlock it.

        2. Yes, now they can use the enigne longer before they need to swap it.
          As Honda was already was1 race in advantage now it will be larger. So the Honda team are going to be able to set their engine higher at the end of the season.

  10. There is no confusion and both are saying tbe6 same thing, although 1 more than the other. As i understand it There is no upgrade after the mercs have moved over to development of next years car. Only what they have been already developing prior to the shift of focus. Simple. Whats not to understand.

    1. Wayne I get what you are saying but I’m not sure it is quite as simple as that if Mercedes find themselves scratching their heads about exactly what route they should take with this car. In other words is ‘only what they have been already developing prior to the shift of focus’ going to be effective or are they still trying to figure out what that development should be in order to sort this car out after what they have been trying hasn’t worked? Will be fascinating to see. Meanwhile RBR aren’t just sitting on their hands either. Such an interesting season this is.

  11. Mercedes have slipped to 98% of Red Bull’s performance. They have to raise that to 99% and Hamilton will make up the difference. Still 15 races to go, lots of time.

    1. They have to go to the full 100% and some more if they want to beat Max.
      LH is very error prone and the car is still fast but hard to setup.

      1. Max will make many mistakes as Hamilton ramps up the pressure. Lewis is still naturally faster than Max.

  12. So Toto Wolff says there is no more new development and the engineer says that there were some parts already under way and they will be coming out the pipeline later.

    Then Horner and his hooligan fanbase here act like the don’t understand the difference. Or perhaps they are truly that dumb that they don’t understand.

    While on the other hand Horner blatantly lies that the engine upgrade that Honda so happily talked about gave them no performance improvements. While all teams can clearly see the improved performance. Of course it’s called a “reliability upgrade”, but they use that so they can now push their engines harder.

    1. I’ll go with dumb. Hard to explain otherwise.

      1. The irony in you calling others hooligans is unbelievable

    2. Agree there was not much of a story here but some red meat for the fiery partisans who are convinced that Horner or Wolff are history’s greatest monster.

  13. Allison seems like an honest and decent person. Toto…

    1. @aapje Toto might not know all the details or be misinterpreted on semantics, but it’s not nearly as bad as the constantly blatantly lying Horner and Marko. “Our wing is legal” (but then they have to change it because it flexes too much), “We didn’t gain any performance from the engine upgrade” (when they clearly did, both Mercedes and Ferrari saw this on the GPS tracks), pretending they didn’t run at a lower running pressure because “we started on the required start pressure” (Pirelli saw in the data that their running pressure was too low and the FIA changed the requirements to make sure they don’t run too low again). That’s from the the last few weeks …

      1. @f1osaurus

        You are extremely biased, which results in you making rubbish claims. Any wing will flex, including Mercedes’ wings. The extent to which this is allowed is ultimately fairly arbitrary and FIA never explicitly banned Red Bull’s wings until they introduced new regulations, which Red Bull seems to comply with. And Mercedes have in fact redesigned their wings due to the new regulations..

        As for the engine, Horner claims that the performance increase is not due to the new engine, which FIA has checked for homologation (and you did not!), but due to new oil. You are making statements for which you have no hard evidence.

        As for the tyre pressures, Pirelli explicitly stated that Red Bull wasn’t breaking the rules.

        You simply live in your own reality, which has little to do with the actual truth, but more with your blind love for Mercedes.

        1. @aapje

          You are extremely biased

          ROFL!!! That’s comedy gold coming from you.

          Pirelli stated that Red Bull didn’t break the requirements for starting pressures yes, but they DID see they were running at to low a running pressure. And that’s ultimately what the goal is and where the cheating really happens.

          Just stop trying to defend their lies. It’s just sad.

          1. @f1osaurus

            Pirelli mandates the pressures that the teams have to run. They admitted to having set those requirements too low and increased them. You then falsely accuse Red Bull and Aston Martin of cheating, even though Pirelli said that they followed the guidelines.

            How do you explain that Red Bull doesn’t get fined if they are cheating all the time, as you believe? Do you have another conspiracy theory to explain that?

          2. @aapje Pirelli specifies a minimum running pressure. The trouble is that they cannot enforce that until mandatory standardized pressure sensors are introduced for 2022.

            So what they need to do is set up a list of directives and start pressure requirements to attempt to keep the teams from going below that minimum running pressure.

            And yes Red Bull adhered to those, but they found loopholes to run at a a lower running pressure than tolerated by the tyres. Just as Aston Martin did.

            All teams besides Red Bull and Aston Martin adhered to the minimum running pressure. So those two teams did something specific to run the tyres out of spec.

            So they were not penalized, but the directives were changed to stop them from cheating om the running pressures.

            Red Bull knew damn well that they were violating the specs of the tyres. Why do you think Horner was quiet so quickly? They know that they cost Verstappen that race themselves by taking too much risk.

            Or why Horner only talked on and on and on about adhering to the start pressures and never actually admitted (or contested) that they were running lower than allowed running pressures?

            Either way, in a sense they were penalized and it’s lucky that that’s all the damage that happened and that they didn’t hurt anyone with their utter disregard for safety.

          3. @f1osaurus

            None of what you are saying was said by Pirelli. On the contrary, they said that the teams were running with the correct pressures.

            You are just making stuff up.

          4. @aapje Pirelli literally said that Red Bull and Aston Martin were running at too low running pressures which was what caused the tyres to fail.

            You can stick your head in the sand all you want. It doesn’t make reality go away.

            Just like Red Bull designed their wing (or mounts) to deflect specifically at higher loads than when tested

            It’s just a despicable way of “competing” when they know they wont be penalized, but they only have to stop cheating when they get caught.

            When Ferrari does that with their engine, Horner cries bitter tears, but he has does it on actualsafety issues. Disgusting. And the people who fall for this nonsense and event pretend that it’s ok are below even that.

          5. @f1osaurus

            I’ll explain it one more time:

            Pirelli mandated certain pressures
            Red Bull & Aston ran at these pressures
            Tires blew
            Pirelli decided that THEIR GUIDELINES WERE WRONG and changed them

            You can’t call those teams cheaters for following the actual guidelines, instead of the new guidelines that came out afterwards…

          6. @aapje YEah exactly just parrot Horners propaganda.

            “We didn’t cheat because the checks didn’t catch us”

            Scum

          7. @f1osaurus

            You are ignoring what I’m saying completely, in favor of your own delusions.

          8. @aapje Lol. You are hilarious. I already explained they changed the test/directives/procedures to stop the cheating

            You just keep parroting Horner propaganda. “We didn’t cheat because the checks didn’t catch us”

            Moving bodywork is cheating, race at a running tyre pressure below spec is cheating, upgrading your engine for reliability reasons and then pull a 3 tenths gap extra… you get it

            Now just get doped by Horners propaganda

          9. @f1osaurus

            You’re so incredibly unintelligent that it is impossible to have a reasonable conversation with you.

          10. @aapje

            Just repeat Horner’s propaganda
            “We didn’t cheat because the checks didn’t catch us”
            “We didn’t cheat because the checks didn’t catch us”

            Oh and while you are at it,
            “Ferrari did cheat even though they weren’t caught and we want our money back”

      2. Toto might not know all the details or be misinterpreted on semantics

        That’s a pretty major failing for a team principal

          1. probably not in your dimension then ;)

          2. Not in any. He doesn;t need to know all details and that people (intenionally) misinterpret his words is something he cannot help. Although perhaps he better just not say anything or instead just blatantly lie like Horner.

  14. I’m almost beginning to suspect Mercedes aren’t sandbagging this time!

  15. Toto said “basically” no upgrades and Horner said, there will be at least things that were en train to add to the car. So they more or less agree. Some parts will come but Mercedes will not be bringing a new floor or crash testing a new chassis for a new nose design.

  16. Wolf crier, the glorified Paddy Lowe strikes again
    Is it any surprise at this point?

  17. I think Wolff may be feeling a bit miffed maybe even foolish because Honda has gained and advantage. I fail to understand why Merc and Ferrari agreed to the freeze on engine development being pushed so hard by RB. With all of the huffing and puffing by Horner and Marko about leaving F1 if they didn’t get what they wanted, to me was a red flag that something was going on with the Honda power unit. Now it’s fixed in place until 2025 and Merc, Ferrari are on the back foot with power units effectively a year of more behind Honda.

    1. @johnrkh

      My impression is that Mercedes started with a huge engine advantage, when they got a great design for the hybrid engine rules, which they hid by turning their engines down, but that the other suppliers slowly but surely closed the gap.

      In that scenario, Mercedes never had the advantage of out-developing the others and it’s far from obvious that they will end up worse off with a freeze than with free development.

  18. Can anyone read the text message on Wolff’s phone in the picture?

    1. @dmw It says ‘next batch of updates have just been shipped out from Brackley’

  19. @Robbie thanks for responding and giving your views and not attacking me. As some people seem to make these debates personal. Lets see what happens after the summer break.

  20. Politest description of sandbagging BS I’ve yet seen!
    Top CH! “We know that Toto loves to throw the light somewhere else.”
    Brilliant joust between the two leading experts!

  21. True Andy makes for soapy style drama. Good for the sport. Drama is good. But the action on the track must always trump the drama

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.
If the person you're replying to is a registered user you can notify them of your reply using '@username'.