Mercedes and Red Bull have not yet shown their true potential based on the past two Grand Prix in the same Red Bull Ring.
The Austrian Grand Prix and the Styrian Grand Prix solidified the domination of the Mercedes team. Proven drivers lead them in Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. However, they aren’t without rivals in the tracks. With Ferrari temporarily struggling, the Red Bull Racing team has stepped up to challenge the reigning World Champions.
The past two races have shown a budding rivalry, and many expect the tussle on track to continue. Verstappen and Albon are two rising stars in the Formula 1 grid, and they’re seen as the future of the Red Bull team.
Mercedes hasn’t trailed significantly yet
According to Mercedes principal Toto Wolff, they haven’t been able to push their cars to the limits for two reasons. First, they led the races for the past two Grand Prix. Bottas on the first race and Hamilton on the second race. They didn’t see any reason to push their cars further because they control the pace of the race.
Second, as an obvious result of leading the two races, they haven’t trailed any cars yet. Wolff said,
“There was probably more in there, but it is always a bit easier to lead than to follow in the dirty air. We saw Max commenting on how difficult it was to follow. Lewis had the same to say when lapping cars.”
While Wolff thinks that their cars still have more to show, he thinks the same for Red Bull’s cars. He said that Verstappen has trailed, but hasn’t led a race. In other words, Red Bull’s car may become a different beast when dictating the pace of the race if they’re leading.
Unlucky Albon in two races
Alexander Albon made it into P4 towards the end of the Styrian Grand Prix. However, there was a late-race scare when Sergio Perez lunged forward in an attempt to overtake the Thai-born driver. He said that he had flashbacks of his experiences with Hamilton in Brazil last year and last week.
Albon still has a lot of work to do to keep up with Verstappen, Hamilton, and Bottas. He has the tools to push forward, as shown by Max sandwiching the two Mercedes drivers. If he fails to improve, the McLarens will be ready to overtake him. Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris have been performing quite well in the past two weeks. Any slip by Albon may cost him his seat next year.
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