8 points. This is the gap between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings when at the end of a 2021 F1 season that will be remembered for a long time there are only two appointments left.
The Red Bull driver has seen his advantage over the Mercedes’ English drop significantly in the last two rounds, but has never seemed particularly worried by the performance of Lewis and the W12 seen in Brazil and Qatar.
Just in the last weekend on the Mercedes number 44 it was decided not to mount the power unit equipped with the new thermal engine seen in action at Interlagos. The Brackley team preferred to make a “conservative” choice which was explained at the end of the race by Andrew Shovlin, head of track engineers.
“We are alternating between two engines. Here we decided to adopt the less powerful one given the nature of the track “.
The most powerful power unit will therefore be adopted at the next meeting in Jeddah. The layout of the track, a citizen full of straights, should allow Mercedes to be able to make the most of the extra power provided by the fresh engine, but Shovlin preferred to get his hands on.
“The last few races have seen some tracks that are favorable to us and others that are not, but if I look at the track in Jeddah I think our car should adapt well to the track. We will also give Lewis the most powerful engine and I think this will be useful ”.
“The Saudi Arabian circuit should best match the characteristics of our car, but we thought the same thing before Austin and then we weren’t able to find a decent set up to fight against Red Bull. We must be very careful in thinking that we are favorites ”.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
“We will need to have a perfect set-up to be able to make the most of the tires. This will be our commitment for the next few days to make sure we get to Jeddah in top condition ”.
Toto Wolff confirms that the seven-time world champion in Saudi Arabia will be able to count on the engine already used in Brazil. The Mercedes team principal also made all the necessary conjurations when he spoke of a circuit on paper that was favorable to his team.
“On paper Jeddah should be a favorable track for us, but this year it has happened several times that when we think that a track is favorable then the opposite happens”.
“That track is characterized by long straights and we will bring out our most powerful engine. We hope that Valtteri can also be part of the game because we need him, but if there are no retirements, everything will be decided in Abu Dhabi ”.
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