Red Bull suggest improving Mercedes will be a 'factor' at British GP

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Mercedes can be a "factor" at this weekend's British Grand Prix, Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested.

The Brackley-based team has only been beaten twice at Silverstone since 2013, as Sebastian Vettel won for Ferrari in 2018 and Max Verstappen was victorious in the 70th Anniversary GP in 2020.

Mercedes also arrive in Britain after an encouraging race in Canada where Lewis Hamilton was able to keep Verstappen and Carlos Sainz within sight during the 15-lap sprint to the finish following a Safety Car.

Something that more than caught Horner's eye.

“Mercedes’ pace in the race was, you know, they were competitive," he said in Montreal. "Smooth circuit [at Silverstone], they could be a factor.

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“We know the Ferrari’s good in the high-speed stuff, we saw that in Barcelona, so you’d think it would swing perhaps back towards Ferrari’s domain.

“We knew Azerbaijan and this race [Canada] were tracks that might favour us and we’ve nailed those two results, which I’m really delighted with.

“It’s always a thrill to race at Silverstone,” Horner added.

“It’s our local race, we’re only 15 minutes up the road. I’m sure there’s going to be huge support for Lewis and George and Lando.

“But, you know, we’re going there leading both championships, as we did last year, but just hoping for a little bit of a better end result than what we got.”


Ahead of this weekend, Mercedes has also confirmed further upgrades are coming to the W13 in a bid to extract further speed, although did temper expectations a little.

“One thing you can be sure of is we will push as hard as we can,” technical director Mike Elliott said.

“We will be bringing new bits to Silverstone, we will be trying to push the car forward, trying to get some pace from the car we’ve got or from the package we’ve got as well as the new bits we are going to add to it.

“I think at the same time though we have to be honest with ourselves and say that at the moment we are just a little bit behind those front runners in Ferrari and Red Bull," he claimed. "And in a normal race, I think it is going to be tough.”

Even so, Mercedes is confident that their porpoising woes are behind them and the smoother surface at Silverstone will reduce the bouncing on the straight.

"We have dissected what we define as porpoising and bouncing, and the porpoising, which is the aerodynamic movement of the car, that's solved and we got on top of this around Barcelona," team boss Toto Wolff explained.

"It is more that the ride of the cars is really what causes the comments of the drivers. The cars are simply all too stiff.

"You look at some of the slow motions from the two leading cars and the Alpines, you see that they are bouncing off the kerb in a very hard way.

"This is something we need to look at: how we can reduce the impact and of course, the smoother the track, the better. The lower the kerbs, the less we see this phenomenon."