Red Bull look good after pre-season but Mercedes look certain favourites for the season opener in Australia
Formula One pre-season tests suggest that Red Bull look stronger and are hiding some pace ahead of the season opener in Australia.
However, the results also showed that defending champions Mercedes were certain favourites for the season-opener Australian Grand Prix.
All F1 teams completed their pre-season testing programmes at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain on Friday.
It would be too early to make any conclusions of sorts, however, ESPN reporters, Nate Saunders and Laurence Edmondson spoke about a few talking points after the end of the pre-season tests.
“So much information. It’s really a case of picking a part and try and understand which bits are relevant, which aren’t. That’s the problem we face in testing,” Laurence said.
“Thing what we can say with some certainty is that Mercedes go into Australia with a tug on their back. They look like the fastest team but Red Bull is on the up there.”
“We have seen this a couple of times in the testing that Red Bull are good but there are some very strong signs, especially that run by Max Verstappen today,” Laurence opined.
After the end of the final day of tests, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished second behind Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, followed by Daniel Ricciardo of Renault in third place.
“This year the car is definitely an improvement”
Meanwhile, Red Bull driver Verstappen was of the opinion that this year’s car was a definite improvement. He also quickly added that more could be said about the car only after the races kick off in Melbourne.
“This year the car is definitely an improvement, and it also has to be if you want to fight for the championship,” the 22-year-old said.
“It needs to be both [good in race and qualifying]. Even last year sometimes we had a decent race car, sometimes qualifying was okay but I think overall, we need to step up, and we are working on that. We just focus on ourselves, and then will find out in Melbourne where we are,” he ended.
Verstappen made a career-best third-place finish in the World Championships last year collecting 278 points and finishing first in Austria, Germany and Brazil.
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