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Mercedes answers to Red Bull speed advantage revealed

Mercedes answers to Red Bull speed advantage revealed

F1 News

Mercedes answers to Red Bull speed advantage revealed

Mercedes answers to Red Bull speed advantage revealed
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Valtteri Bottas believes Mercedes has found answers to the high-speed deficit to Red Bull that plagued the team's start of the season.

Mercedes has seen its lead cut to five points at the top following Bottas' retirement from the Qatar Grand Prix after a tyre failure, but in the last two races, the high-speed performance of the W12 has seen a marked improvement.

Earlier in the season, Red Bull dominated in Azerbaijan, Austria and France when it came to straight-line advantage, allowing more downforce to be applied to the RB16B and give more cornering performance to further stretch clear of Mercedes.

After Lewis Hamilton took his second successive victory at the Losail International Circuit, Bottas was asked if he was certain the gap had been closed to Red Bull when it came to high-speed performance.

"I think so," replied the Finn.

"We've learned a lot with the set-up. We're setting up the car a bit different nowadays than the beginning of the year."

F1 visits Jeddah and Saudi Arabia for the first time this weekend, with Bottas revealing his enjoyment of the circuit on the simulator.

"It's quite high speed," he explained. "Qatar worked for us and hopefully that will as well. It's quite similar in terms of overtaking so it will be difficult. We'll see."

Mercedes director of trackside engineering Andrew Shovlin had previously suggested he had never seen Bottas so relaxed during his time at the Silver Arrows.

In reply, Alfa Romeo-bound Bottas said: "Yeah, I feel more comfortable. It's because everyone knows what's going to happen.

"There's no stress from that point of view. It's quite straightforward. It's all clear, all fine. We're just racing."

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