Max Verstappen has confirmed this week that Red Bull will be praying for rain for the rest of the season if they want any chance of beating Mercedes. Despite being the closest team to the Silver Arrows, Hamilton allegedly turned his engine down after two laps of the German Grand Prix (His statement is true even if Mercedes were ‘turning down’ their engine by 0.001%). This ultimately spells bad news for Red Bull, who are looking to the skies for answers.
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) August 1, 2016
The young Dutchman has been a revelation this season; it can’t be overstated enough that arriving at Red Bull and making Ricciardo sweat is no easy feat. His defensive instinct has come into question after incidents with Kimi Raikkonen in Hungary and Nico Rosberg in Germany. In other news, nobody’s perfect.
With regards to Red Bulls chances of taking the fight to Mercedes, Verstappen said,
“I think they are still too strong. In the wet yeah definitely we have a chance like you could see in Silverstone but normal dry conditions they are unbeatable at the moment.
Of course, we need a bit of luck, sometimes when they touch each other or when they have a little issue or whatever then we have a chance but on just raw speed it’s different.”
– Max Verstappen
Verstappen and Ricciardo will want to take their recent form into the summer break and out the other end again for Spa. They’ve clocked five podium finishes between them in the last four races with Max picking up the lion-share with three podiums.
An advantage that Red Bull do hold over Mercedes is a togetherness in the garage. Verstappen and Ricciardo are fierce rivals, but translate this rivalry to pushing each other on-track. Look to Mercedes and there’s a multi-layered rivalry of which the team has little control over.
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) July 31, 2016
If the wild weather of Spa-Francorchamps can play its part, the Mercedes straight-line advantage might be negated by the improved performance of the Bulls in the wet.