Red Bull makes a statement in Formula 1 with the pole position of Max Verstappen, Mercedes “lacking in rhythm” – .

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Red Bull makes a statement in Formula 1 with the pole position of Max Verstappen, Mercedes “lacking in rhythm” – .




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Red Bull team manager Christian Horner looks back at the team’s first pole position at the French Grand Prix after Max Verstappen took first place

Red Bull team manager Christian Horner looks back at the team’s first pole position at the French Grand Prix after Max Verstappen took first place

Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle said Red Bull made an “important statement” in the 2021 championship after Max Verstappen emphatically beat Mercedes on pole position at the French GP.

The Paul Ricard track in France has been one of Mercedes’ many strongholds in recent years – with the seven-time world champions having won every pole and victory since returning to the calendar in 2018 – but Verstappen edged out Lewis Hamilton to take the lead. qualifying for the first time since the opening of the season.

His final advantage was 0.2 seconds, but it seemed like more than that before Hamilton, who leads Verstappen by four points in the title race, squeezed all he could out of his W12 car at the end. of Q3.

And Brundle said: “We are seeing two wonderful one-on-one racing drivers. In this race and in this championship.

“It’s an important statement that Red Bull has passed Mercedes today. “

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Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok analyzes the battle for pole between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in France

Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok analyzes the battle for pole between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in France

A statement not only because of Mercedes’ form in France, but also their pace on similar tracks this season – especially in Barcelona where Hamilton was clearly faster than Verstappen.

The Paul Ricard is a more traditional F1 circuit, with high speed corners and long straights, where Mercedes was supposed to flourish. But instead, Red Bull, helped by a new Honda engine, turned out to be the fastest in the hands of Verstappen.

“If we can beat them here, we can really beat them anywhere,” admitted Red Bull team boss Christian Horner.

Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez finished third and fourth in the other Mercedes and Red Bull cars.

Mercedes ‘lack of rhythm’, ‘need to win everywhere’

While Red Bull has vastly outperformed a below-par Mercedes on tracks in Monaco and Baku and has generally been competitive all season, the season start form suggested the Silver Arrows would be the team to beat it. weekend.

But the title contenders and leaders moved on after Friday night’s setup changes saw them thrive on the straights, while maintaining their advantage in the corners.

This left Mercedes looking for answers.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits the weekend has been tough for the team, despite his drivers finishing second and third in qualifying.

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Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits the weekend has been tough for the team, despite his drivers finishing second and third in qualifying.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admits the weekend has been tough for the team, despite his drivers finishing second and third in qualifying.

“It was a tough weekend because we lack the pace,” Mercedes’s Toto Wolff told Sky F1. ” It’s the truth.

“It looked a lot worse than at the end where we ended up, but we just need to win everywhere.

“There isn’t a part that we don’t watch in order to improve our game.”

Sunday’s race starts at 2 p.m. on Sky Sports F1, ramping up from 12:30 p.m.

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