Verstappen: Red Bull could have dominated F1 like Mercedes
Max Verstappen thinks that Red Bull would have enjoyed Mercedes levels of dominance in Formula 1 if the turbo hybrid rules had not been introduced.
The arrival of new power units in 2014 opened the door for Mercedes to deliver title winning form ever since.
The German car manufacturer has delivered seven consecutive F1 title doubles since 2014, with Red Bull having now not won a title since 2013.
Speaking to Motorsport.com about why he believes Mercedes has won everything in recent years against a top team like Red Bull, Verstappen thinks the key factor was the rule changes for 2014.
“To be honest with you, I think if at the end of 2013, if the regulations wouldn’t have changed, I think Red Bull could have done the same, you know, if the V6 wasn’t introduced,” he said.
“It’s just, I think in a way, it came perfect for them [Mercedes]. Of course, you know, the V6 era, they prepared very early on, and they were well equipped with a good power unit from the start. And that, of course, initially I think, really helped them a lot.”
Verstappen does concede, however, that Mercedes’ form has not just been down to having the best engine, because the German car manufacturer has done an impressive job with its chassis too.
“I think they made their car very fast,” added the Dutchman. “And, with a good top speed, everything, of course, looks already a lot better. But for sure [in 2020], they also had an amazing car. You can’t get around that.”
Despite the level of success that Mercedes has delivered in F1, Verstappen still thinks there is a good chance that Red Bull can challenge the German car manufacturer in 2021.
His victory in the 2020 season finale in Abu Dhabi was a psychological boost heading into the winter, and the team is confident it has got on top of the worst vices of its RB16 car.
Speaking at the end of last year, team principal Christian Horner said that key to its hopes now would be ensuring its car was more versatile on all types of circuits.
“I think we’ve improved the car significantly,” he explained.
“I think we’ve understood what those issues are and I think that, hopefully, that can be further addressed as we go into next year.
“We need a car that performs at a whole variety of circuits, which Mercedes have been very good at producing.
“That’s where we need to be strong next year. We’ve got to be strong on all types of circuit, particularly with a 23 race calendar.”
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