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He claims to be losing to Mercedes. But the opponents do not believe them – F1sport.cz

Verstappen closed the pre-season tests in Bahrain in the fastest time, giving the rest of the field almost seven-tenths of a second.

George Russell lost a second to the Dutch and after tests declared that Mercedes is “a step behind its rivals” because it lacks “performance”.

His teammate Lewis Hamilton then said that “I don’t think we’re going to fight for victory at the moment”.

Mercedes has issued similar skeptical statements between pre-season tests and the start of the season regularly in recent years. How the season always turned out, F1 fans know: Mercedes has not known a winner in the Constructors ‘Cup since 2014 and not even in the drivers’ championship until last season.

Other Mercedes rivals also noticed. According to Carlos Sainz of Ferrari, Mercedes’ statements are “typical”.

Verstappen agrees with Sainz and doubts that Mercedes is really losing.

“If someone is doing well or it is a team that everyone expects to succeed, then it is: ‘But no, we are definitely not favorites,'” Verstappen said during tests in Bahrain.

“And then a week later, when they’re doing well, it’s suddenly, ‘Oh no, but during the week we completely dug it through the factory.’ Not normal, incredible work. Thanks to all the people in the factory! ”

Verstappen also said that Mercedes had similar performance concerns after last year’s tests in Bahrain. “And during the first race weekend, they were always very strong,” he added.

So who does Verstappen really consider the biggest rival after the pre-season tests in Barcelona and Bahrain? According to him, Ferrari was “always fast”.

If there was a race tomorrow, Ferrari would have a double, Hamilton thinks

“It simply came to our notice then. It simply looks good for them, they also had very few problems. Next week we will see who is the fastest, but so far they have had very good tests, “says last year’s world champion.

“The last two years have not been good for them, so they have automatically started focusing on this season a little earlier than some other teams. It’s more than normal that they started working on the 2022 before we did, that’s fine too. In the end, the speed of development during the season is the most important thing for these new cars. “

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