Mercedes are still favourites for 2021 season, believes Red Bull’s advisor Helmut Marco

The reigning champions had a disappointing outing during pre-season testing in Bahrain while the Honda-powered team emerged as the fastest. Mercedes engineering director had earlier commented that from the data they have collected, they are not as quick as Red Bull ahead of 2021 season.

Rohan Gulaty Author

Updated - 17 March 2021 10:55 am

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marco has expressed his delight after the team's impressive outing in Bahrain during the pre-season testing. However, the 77-year-old is not getting carried away by Red Bull's strong show. The Austrian opines that Mercedes are still the favourites going into the 2021 season despite their issues during 3-day pre-season testing.

They have lot more up their sleeves: Marco on Silver Arrows

It was a brilliant display by Red Bull's duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez at Bahrain International Circuit this weekend. While Max registered the fastest time on Day 1 and Day 3, new-boy Perez also looked quite comfortable in his new car. On the other hand, Mercedes faced issues with gear box and even found difficulties in finding the grip.

Despite the events in Bahrain, Marco believes that things remain the same for the upcoming season. He said, “Mercedes are still the favourites. We think they drove with more fuel than we did. That means they are very confident & have a lot more up their sleeves. We are the first competitor; that is how the situation looks like. Behind us, there will be a fight. I think McLaren will stand out a bit more than the others, but they are not on our or Mercedes level. The midfield is a lot closer.”

Mercedes is a class team: Christian Horner

Red Bull Principal Christian Horner was also quick to point out that Mercedes can't be written off. The 47-year-old opined that things change very quickly in this sport and is aware of the threat that Silver Arrows can pose.

Speaking about Mercedes, Horner said, “That’s a class team. Two years ago they also had problems during winter testing, but then they crushed us in Melbourne. It’s true that car didn’t look good on the first two days in Bahrain, but things like that can change very quickly in Formula 1.”

It will be really exciting to see if Red Bull can go neck-to-neck with the reigning champions this season. 7-time F1 title-winner Lewis Hamilton will also have to face some tough competition from a hungry-looking Max Verstappen. The 2021 season kick-offs with Bahrain Grand Prix on March 28.

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