Mercedes “getting nearer and nearer” to Crimson Bull, Ferrari

Crimson Bull driver Max Verstappen prolonged his lead on the high of the championship by scoring his seventh win of the season on Sunday, capitalising on Charles Leclerc’s crash whereas main.

However the race additionally noticed Mercedes get each of its automobiles onto the rostrum for the primary time this season as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell completed second and third respectively.

Hamilton sat second behind Verstappen for the restart after the security automotive interval, however was powerless to battle the Crimson Bull resulting from his straight-line pace deficit. Hamilton finally crossed the road 10 seconds behind Verstappen on the finish of the race.

Though Crimson Bull boss Horner was “not particularly” stunned by the highest pace of the Mercedes automobiles, saying “nothing stood out considerably to us”, he remained assured the rival workforce was making inroads on the leaders.

“They had been actually speaking up their possibilities coming into the weekend,” Horner stated after the race at Paul Ricard.

“I feel ultimately, Max was fairly snug. However you’ll be able to see they’re chipping away at it, they’re getting nearer.”

Horner joked: “I hear Toto [Wolff] stated they’re going to work all through the summer time break to enhance the automotive, which might in fact be unlawful…

“You may see they’re getting nearer and nearer.”

 

Mercedes had been anticipated to fare properly at Paul Ricard due to the circuit’s clean floor and a structure that appeared to go well with the Mercedes W13 automotive.

But Hamilton was nonetheless eight tenths of a second off Leclerc’s pole time for Ferrari, whereas Russell might solely handle sixth on the grid earlier than each drivers fought again within the race.

Mercedes F1 chief Wolff stated after the race the workforce was nonetheless “missing in automotive efficiency on a single lap and we’re missing efficiency on the preliminary phases of the stint”, and there could be no “silver bullet” to treatment these points because it goes seeking a primary win this yr.

Verstappen’s victory noticed his lead on the high of the drivers’ championship develop to 63 factors, however he admitted the hole was larger than it needs to be given Ferrari’s latest degree of efficiency, which has been corresponding to Crimson Bull’s.

Requested if he would dispute Ferrari having the quickest automotive at Paul Ricard, Horner stated it was “unattainable to essentially say.”

“Clearly Carlos Sainz seemed fast, however then he’s on an offset technique with the medium tyre when others are on the arduous tyre,” Horner stated.

“For certain they’d a fast automotive right now.”

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