Mercedes will run this World Championship among themselves. On paper, everything spoke for a duel between Mercedes and Red Bull. Only one straight, but 14 corners. Among them seven under 160 km/h. Max Verstappen’s pole position from last year also indicated a close race between the defending champion and his challenger.
But then the disillusionment was great. Max Verstappen was 1.402 seconds short of Lewis Hamilton’s fastest time. More than twice as much, many attempted to explain why Mercedes had brought out most of its lead on the straight.
Mercedes W11 is not only fast on the full-throttle sections. Lewis Hamilton rubbed Red Bull under the nose: “Our lead surprises me. The chassis, the aero package, and mechanical grip count here.” Exactly the disciplines in which the opponent thought he had the advantage.
Comparing the lap times in 2020 with the previous year, it shows how Mercedes has improved. It is a good race by a quantum leap. Hamilton undercut last year’s pole by 1.125 seconds. Verstappen was three tenths slower than last year.
The Dutchman lost in all three sectors to the World Cup rival, which is now disappearing on the horizon. in the middle section with its many fast turns. Sebastian Vettel said after the show of the Silver Arrows:
“They don’t drive on another planet. They are traveling in another universe.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was also surprised: “Red Bull was always a bank at the Hungaroring. We were counting on them here and of course, we cannot judge from outside what the problem is. It doesn’t seem to me to be a fundamental mistake. It looks more like they were wrong somewhere looking for the setup and the right upgrades. “
The Austrian now warns against the sister team Racing Point: “They are faster than us in some corners. Racing Point is now on the podium, if not for victories.”
A Mercedes championship
You don’t have to be a clairvoyant to predict the rest of this World Cup or look into angel number 222. It will result in a duel between the Mercedes drivers. You will be lucky if you get fire from a competitor every now and then. Max Verstappen almost seems to have come to terms with it. “If the Mercedes continue to drive in this form, they will be hard to catch up with.”
Bottas did not look dissatisfied even when he ended up a defeat. From the fans’ perspective, one can only hope that there will be a head-to-head race between Hamilton and Bottas in the race. Otherwise, this World Cup could become a sleeping pill. In 2014, Mercedes installed an artificial tensioner in some races. This is when they sent their two drivers into the race. They’ve raced with different strategies but with similar superiority.
This was already discussed with the drivers at the first race in 2020 but was quickly rejected. According to Toto Wolff, it is too early for such games. “This approach escalated a couple of times in 2014. It would be negligent to do it now. We would look pretty stupid if we missed the points we could lose at the end of the season. Red Bull can still come back. “