After beating Mercedes once again in Styria, the Red Bull car seems the one to beat in 2021, and the Milton Keynes-based team does not believe that the Silver Arrows will not bring upgrades during the season.
After the race, Mercedes announced that the developments for the 2021 season have been stopped. They decided to do so to focus on the next season.
However, Lewis Hamilton is not fully happy with the car and asked the team to bring some upgrades to close the gap to Red Bull.
Despite what Mercedes said, Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner, does not believe that the German team will stop the development of the W12.
“What Mercedes do is very much their business, so we’re just focused on ourselves,” explained Horner.
“We know that Toto likes to throw the light somewhere else, so I can’t believe that they’ll go through the rest of this year without putting a single component on the car.
“But, as I say, what we can do is focus on our job. Of course, it is a balancing act between this year and next year, but if that means we’ve all got to work a bit harder than the other teams, we are fully up for it.”
Mercedes knows that Red Bull is putting many resources into the 2021 season, this was also highlighted during the Styrian GP weekends when some Red Bull staff members received some packages probably containing new parts.
However, in 2022 new regulations will come into play, and it is important to develop a competitive car for the next season. Therefore, Toto Wolff believes that it is more important to focus on the new rules, which means the long term.
“It is a very, very tricky decision because we are having new regulations not only for next year but for years to come, a completely different car concept.
“You’ve got to choose the right balance, and pretty much everybody is going to be on next year’s car. Some may still bring stuff. Red Bull has brought trucks or vans Thursday and Friday with new parts. And fair enough, it’s a strategy.
“And one that proves to be successful as it stands, because here, they were simply in a league of their own car-pace wise.”
Of course, Horner as well knows the importance of the upcoming season, but the current one is crucial too.
“For the first time in quite a while we’ve come out the blocks this year with a competitive car and we’ve managed to optimize that and tune it,” he said.
“But you’re at the top of the curve with these cars, you’re into marginal gains. And obviously, when you look at the new car for next year, every time it goes through a development cycle, it’s significant steps.
“So it’s getting that balance right between the marginal gains for this year and the big steps for next year. But that’s no different from how it’s been in the past.”