Verstappen and Hamilton urge their teams to keep up development push

2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are both convinced they need more from their cars to come out on top in the championship.

The Red Bull driver kept Hamilton behind to win today’s Dutch Grand Prix. In the last nine races he has scored six victories to Hamilton’s one.

Nonetheless, he believes Mercedes are more competitive than their recent results may have shown.

“They had pole position in Silverstone – even though of course it didn’t count as a pole position – and they were ahead in Hungary where they definitely had more pace than us, it just looked better,” Verstappen says. “But of course Hungary was a crazy race with whatever happened, with the wet and the start.

“So I think you shouldn’t look at stats. I think you should look at the realistic pace, what there was, and not look always at the race result, because I definitely think that they would have won Hungary if everything went normal.”

Mercedes appeared to close the gap to Red Bull in the two races before the summer break. Verstappen said his team have made progress since then.

“I really thought in the break ‘we really need to speed things up here’, because otherwise they’re going to run away with it. And I think we did pick it up a bit.

“I feel like we still need a bit more, but it’s heading into the right direction. Also we have to see, there’s still quite a lot of different kind of tracks coming up. So it will definitely swing both ways and we just have to keep on it and keep pushing and keep bringing new bits to the car.”

Hamilton, who lost the championship lead to Verstappen today, said there have only been a few races so far where Mercedes have been a close match for Red Bull.

“I’m giving it everything, we’re giving it absolutely everything and I think even since the first race, these guys have had such a strong car all year.

“We’re trying as hard as we can. But we’ve had a couple of races where it looked like we just about were on par with them or just slightly ahead. But there’s only been a couple of those, and then [they] took a big, big leap and it’s been difficult.

“I guess it’s so close, you can’t really overtake in a lot of these places that we’ve been to probably previously because we are so closely-matched. There’s nothing really more I can say.”

The reigning world champion is also convinced Mercedes need to find more from their car over the remaining races.

“We just have to keep our heads down, keep working, keep pushing. We are ahead in the team championship, which is great. But of course we need to pick up some speed if we want to be able to win races in future.”

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2021 Dutch Grand Prix

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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...

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11 comments on “Verstappen and Hamilton urge their teams to keep up development push”

  1. Definitely not wind tunnel work anymore.

    1. Yeah, new bits that are not yet in the pipeline of production have almost zero chance to make it onto the cars by now I would think @jerejj.

      Maybe they can work on the engine a bit, optimise software. But apart from that, it will have to come from setup choises and cutting out mistakes like sending out Perez so late that he cannot set a lap in Q2 to get through to Q3. Or having a 4 second pitstop.

  2. Hamilton and Wolff said there would be no more upgrades on the car, but then they did upgrade it, and will surely continue to do so. And boy did the pre-Silverstone upgrade work. Mercedes was constistently behind on the speed traps, now they are constitently ahead, which obviously means even if they are equal on lap times, Red Bull will lose out if the track is not too twisty.

  3. Again verstappen realistic, hamilton downplaying the mercedes, but I think this comes as no surprise, who says “my tyres are dead” and then gets the fastest laps since several years?

    Verstappen has always been honest and realistic, so no surprise I think his view is closer to reality.

    1. Mate, you have a talent to use every opportunity to bash Hamilton. Bit frustrated?

      1. A Hamilton fan attacking the person behind the comment. It couldn’t be more predictable.

  4. They look close, to close to call, and any development might shift balance.

  5. I would not be surprised if this tight championship fight between Red Bull and Mercedes, and their ongoing car development, will lead to both of them trailing at the start of next year. This could play very well into the hands of Ferrari, McLaren and Alpine. We have seen this before with the rule changes in 2009. Ferrari and McLaren started the 2009 season at the back of the field after their amazing 2008 fight. Both recovered to the front mid-season. But the damage was done. With the budget cap it will be only more difficult for a team to recover if they’ve taken the wrong direction with the design of their car. I am excited to see whether history will repeat itself.

    1. @spafrancorchamps Unlikely. No team does wind tunnel development anymore.
      2008-2009 is somewhat apples to oranges comparison because Ferrari and Mclaren weren’t clearly faster than the rest like Merc/RBR.

      1. well it happened to Renault too after 05-06 me thinks

  6. If mercedes gets this WDC they won’t be motivated as before anymore, did any constructor reached this kind of dominance in F1 before? They might even sell the division by saying that they showed once more what they can do and be an engine supplier. This fight with RBR really gave them another motivation to invest more.

    Leave this stuff to germans.

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