Bottas: "Mercedes not one second ahead of Red Bull and Ferrari"

Published on 10 Mar 2018 12:16

Valtteri Bottas has denied that Mercedes is a full second per lap ahead of Formula 1's other top teams heading into this month's Australian Grand Prix.

One analysis shows that while qualifying will be closer, the silver car may be a full second per lap faster than Red Bull in a race simulation or 'long run'. But Finn Bottas insisted: "We are definitely not a second ahead of the others."

Renault-powered Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko thinks that whatever the difference, it is due to the engine. "We have the better chassis," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. "The difference is the engine."

And designer Adrian Newey thinks one of the big differences between Renault and Mercedes is how oil is consumed. "For us, the oil consumption per 100 litres is 0.1 litres," he revealed. "Mercedes and Ferrari go the limit of 0.6 litres."

Ferrari, however, may be risking running out of oil altogether, as the plumes of smoke from the rear of the red car in Barcelona testing suggest. Sebastian Vettel said that's not a problem, but he did admit: "There are still some puzzles that we need to understand."

Replies (11)
NL F1_IS_Dead 10 Mar 2018 12:370
Posts: 119
"We are definitely not a second ahead of the others."

He is right, it's 2 seconds.
SE calle.itw 10 Mar 2018 12:370
Posts: 5607
More bullshit from Red Bull. First of all, we dont know if Red Bull has the better chassis. Second of all, how did Newey know how much oil Ferrari and Mercedes burn? Even if those numbers are true: 6 times higher than Renault? Either its bullshit, or Renault just hasnt done a good enough job of pushing to the limit. Mind, power units will likely still be a decisive factor, but, looking at Force India and Williams Im not sure it'll be an as strong decider of things as it used to be.
Posts: 533
Right! As long as Mercedes and Ferrari are within the limits in terms of oil burning, it's just stupid and incompetent of Renault not to follow suit.
In terms of the "we have the better/best chassis" it's the same song and dance every year from Red Bull and McLaren. It gets old.
SE calle.itw 10 Mar 2018 17:550
Posts: 5607
Yeah, if the FIA's recent restrictions on oil burning wasnt strict enough, you might aswell try to follow suit. Yup, it is getting tedious. Only Red Bull mostly manage to have a pretty decent chassis, whereas McLaren's only decent chassis as of late was their 2017 chassis.
Posts: 265
Renault hasn't figured out how to leave the oil in the combustion chamber. And they can't think out of the box. Marko knows that Ferrari and Mercedes are at the limit.
SE calle.itw 11 Mar 2018 13:050
Posts: 5607
I have more and more begun to reconsider some aspects of where I think some teams will be during 2018. I am pretty confident in saying it'll be Merc vs Ferrari vs RB in the top, best to worst in the same order, but for the rest Im uncertain. The biggest unknowns for me are Force India, Haas and Toro Rosso. At this rate those three could literally end up anywhere, but Renault definitely seem to have usurped the midfield crown. I suppose my new ranking would be something like

Mercedes vs Ferrari
Red Bull
McLaren vs Haas
Williams vs Toro Rosso vs Force India

In many ways, I found that Haas looked more impressive than McLaren, especially in raw speed. Alonso made the difference in that McLaren, but Im not sure Vandoorne will be enough to keep the 'muricans away. ;) Williams had good reliability, and clocked many laps, and both them and Force Pink had decent speed, but laptimes were mediocre. TBH, I think Toro Rosso looked far more impressive than either of the two. But I think the two will improve before Melbourne. As usual, Sauber is Sauber, and not even a recent spec engine can save them, which is pretty much what I expected.
Posts: 140
Ferrari has trouble too even tough they posted fastest lap times- If it was qualification with hypersofts Mercedes would have likely managed under 1:16. But other I think are pretty close to my view of performance levels shown in the testing.

Some teams have promised major chassis update for Albert Park and I think rest will make at least minor modifications. The performance difference will still change a bit.

Too bad it seems that Sauber didn't have enough time to completely catch midfield but they should be much closer now.
Posts: 397
Ok, I know these comparisons are futile (track surface, tyres used, fuel loads, temp etc), but still I choose to think they give us some sort of indication. Biggest gains in testing 2017 vs. 2018.

McLaren -3,564 sec
Sauber -2,552 sec
Haas -2,144 sec
Renault -1,793 sec
Toro Rosso -1,474 sec
Ferrari -1,452 sec
Red Bull -1,391 sec
Force India -1,149 sec
Mercedes -0,910 sec
Williams -0,231 sec
Posts: 172
Good, I did the same analysis.
BUT, not everybody has laid down their cards yet.
Posts: 942
Off course Renault known how to adjust the cylinder head to allow for oil burning. Redbull got a boost last year when they switched oil compound. They aren't allowed to change oil compound between qualifying and race this that means that they can't run in their specialized qualifying oil. The fia can sort out this quickly but they aren't for some reason. Do they want a series that promotes oil burning?
SE calle.itw 12 Mar 2018 16:250
Posts: 5607
Except Red Bull and Renault dont run the same oil, Renault has BP, while Red Bull has Mobil 1. And since the FIA clearly havent restricted it enough: yeah, they dont seem to mind oil burning too much.

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