Red Bull 8, Mercedes 6: this is the partial after 16 races as regards stage victories in the 2021 F1 championship. After the Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort the score was 8 to 4 in favor of the Milton Keynes team, which had therefore rounded off the rulers of the turbo-hybrid era. The last two rounds have rewarded the team led by Toto Wolff who has thus significantly approached the rivals led by the tandem Christian Horner-Helmut Marko. Lewis Hamilton imposed himself in Russia, while in Turkey thanks to the penalty on the starting grid served by the seven-time world champion Valtteri Bottas he was finally able to celebrate a victory again, the tenth in his career, more than a year after his last success. in 2020 right in Russia in Sochi.
Mercedes in Istanbul was unstoppable for Red Bull both in qualifying and in the race, in dry conditions and on a wet track. A great confidence boost as underlined by the head of track engineers Andrew Shovlin: “It was heartening to see that we have the car to win the World Championship – the words of the Mercedes man reported by the newspaper The-Race.com – we were faster than Red Bull on Saturday in qualifying and Sunday in the race ”.
Inside Mercedes, the fear of sacrificing too much performance in this 2021 in favor of 2022 was concrete as Shovlin pointed out: “Having to manage the double front in view also of 2022 we wondered if we would be able to at the end of 2021 to still have the potential to place two cars in the front row on Saturday, thus being able to control the race on Sunday without particular worries. In view of the last six races of the season it was a great confidence boost ”.