Verstappen: Red Bull not favourite despite Mercedes troubles

Max Verstappen is refusing to read into Mercedes' struggles through Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain, saying Red Bull is not the favourite heading into the opening race.

Verstappen: Red Bull not favourite despite Mercedes troubles
Listen to this article

Mercedes suffered setbacks on each of the first two days of testing in Bahrain, leaving it at the bottom of the mileage chart heading into the final running on Sunday.

By comparison, Red Bull managed close to 100 more laps than Mercedes with the RB16B car as Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez enjoyed largely trouble-free running on the first two days.

Verstappen said after his first run-out on Friday that the car felt "predictable", and was responding well to set-up changes.

But Verstappen is refusing to look too much into Mercedes' struggles through pre-season testing, saying it was too early to say if Red Bull was in better shape than in previous years.

"It's still a bit early to say, I've only done the first day," Verstappen said ahead of his final test appearance on Sunday afternoon.

"It was just a very positive day because we did a lot of laps, and that has been different in the past.

"At the end of the day, it's a test. The amount of times that Mercedes has topped the testing in the last few years is not that high, so it doesn't really say a lot about pure performance.

"But for us, it's just all about gathering a lot of data."

Read Also:

Mercedes was able to bounce back on Saturday as Valtteri Bottas topped the timesheets, but both he and teammate Lewis Hamilton were reporting struggles with the rear end of the W12.

Asked by Motorsport.com if Red Bull had the favourite tag heading into the first race in light of Mercedes' struggles, Verstappen replied: "I don't think we are the favourites.

"If Mercedes wins that many championships in a row, I think it's still the same as before we came to the test."

Red Bull has traditionally started seasons slowly in recent years before making gains later on, with the area being a key weakness in its bid to challenge Mercedes for titles.

Although Verstappen said the car felt "very positive" from his first outings, he felt it was too early to say whether or not Red Bull would be able to start the season stronger than in recent years.

"It's a bit too early to say, nobody really has shown anything," Verstappen said.

"I'm just very happy for myself that we could do that many laps, because that's the most important.

"The engineers and everybody back at the factory, they want a lot of data, and afterwards we'll find out in Q3 on the first race weekend where we are."

shares
comments

Related video

Perez leads final morning of F1 test for Red Bull
Previous article

Perez leads final morning of F1 test for Red Bull

Next article

Alpine explains bulky airbox after "body shaming"

Alpine explains bulky airbox after "body shaming"
Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why F1's champion isn't fazed by Silverstone return

Max Verstappen is the world’s number one racing driver… and he’s determined to keep it that way. Speaking exclusively to GP Racing's OLEG KARPOV, the Red Bull driver explains why he’s relishing the 2022 championship battle with Charles Leclerc – and why he’s not worried about returning to Silverstone, the scene of the biggest accident of his career last year

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022
Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team Prime

Why Red Bull’s RB17 hypercar can help its F1 team

On Tuesday, Red Bull laid out its plans to develop and build a new hypercar - the RB17 - penned by Adrian Newey. As the project itself sates Newey as a creative outlet, it also offers Red Bull's Formula 1 team a number of new and exciting avenues to pursue.

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone Prime

What to expect from Mercedes as F1 returns to Silverstone

OPINION: The British Grand Prix is a home event for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, with their Mercedes team based just a few miles away too. But there’s another reason why the Silver Arrows squad is eager to arrive at Silverstone this weekend, which may help it fix its remaining problems with its 2022 Formula 1 challenger .

Formula 1
Jun 29, 2022
Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory Prime

Inside AlphaTauri’s Faenza F1 factory

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s Oleg Karpov on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow.

Formula 1
Jun 26, 2022
Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc Prime

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons: Villeneuve and Leclerc

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career.

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Prime

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Prime

Does Max Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Prime

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022