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Surprise F1 team competes with Red Bull in MAJOR statistic

Surprise F1 team competes with Red Bull in MAJOR statistic

Surprise F1 team competes with Red Bull in MAJOR statistic

Sheona Mountford
Surprise F1 team competes with Red Bull in MAJOR statistic

Red Bull have new competitors in the race for the best straight line speed after some intriguing figures from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix were revealed.

The team came home for their second dominant 1-2 finish in a row, with Max Verstappen reigning victorious for the 19th time in the last 20 races.

READ MORE: What the 2025 F1 grid looks like after MASSIVE Hamilton move

The two Red Bull drivers were followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, and Oscar Piastri in the McLaren.

George Russell managed to finish 6th in the Mercedes, with the team currently sitting in 4th in the constructors, clear there is still work to be done.

Perez, Verstappen and Leclerc on the Saudi Arabia GP podium 2024
Max Verstappen and George Russell 2024

Shovlin acknowledges Mercedes straight line speed advantage

Despite not being as quick as their rivals, Mercedes Trackside Engineering Director Andrew Shovelin identified the strengths of the car.

“We were actually one of the fastest cars, if not the fastest car, in a straight line,” Shovlin said in a Mercedes post-race debrief video.

“So we’re on quite a light wing level and what we could do is slow ourselves down in sector two and three to try and recover a bit of that time in sector one.

“But ideally we’d like to keep that and work out a way to try and improve sector one by means other than just putting a load more downforce on the car and then paying the price for it on the straight.”

READ MORE: F1 drivers age: How old are Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen, Norris and co

Max Verstappen and George Russell 2024

Shovlin also analysed where Mercedes could improve their performance for the next race.

“The big one is we don’t really have enough grip there [Saudi]. So that’s one of the things that we are working hard on this week because Melbourne has a similar nature of corners.

"We’re doing a lot of work to try and understand why we did not seem to have the grip of some of our close competitors.”

READ MORE: Lewis Hamilton net worth: Salary, endorsements and NFL ownership

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