Mercedes miles ahead in Austria where they have struggled in past | Giles Richards


Valtteri Bottas’s win suggests the constructors’ champion will be ominously strong again this season and F1 deserves credit for the biosphere system which saw a Covid-clear race

Valtteri Bottas’s win in Austria might have been nail-biting for the team, given they feared his car was very close to a shutdown because of a gearbox sensor problem, but after the weekend as a whole Mercedes emerged ominously strong. Their car is comfortably once more at the front of the field, with their form bearing the hallmarks of one of those relentless Metallica riffs that churns on and on and on. Half a second up in qualifying their nearest competitor, Red Bull, had to opt for an alternate tyre strategy just to give Max Verstappen a shot in the race. Mercedes’ engine power on the straights was three-tenths up on last year and the chassis is quick and balanced. An incident-packed race only helped camouflage what is once more the pick of the field by some margin. Worryingly for the opposition, all this on a circuit where Mercedes have struggled in recent years.

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Written by Giles Richards
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