Mercedes will leave ‘nothing on the table’ in title fight

Date published: August 23 2021 - Jamie Woodhouse

Lewis Hamilton leads Max Verstappen during the Portuguese GP. Portimao May 2021.

Mercedes will unleash everything they have in their battle with Red Bull over the 2021 titles, team boss Toto Wolff has promised.

Both outfits are playing their parts in a title scrap which has been craved for years, but there is a potential complication.

That being a combination of the budget cap, new for 2021 which limits teams to a spend of $145m for the season, and also the new regulations for 2022.

No team can afford to treat the new generation of F1 cars as a secondary project, but there is no longer a blank cheque when it comes to spending, and so Mercedes and Red Bull must carefully consider how they allocate their resources.

Red Bull already have said that they are not prepared to give up on their RB16B yet, and Wolff has now promised that Mercedes will leave nothing on the table in their efforts.

Asked by GPFans for the marginal gains which could settle this title battle, Wolff replied: “The words ‘marginal gains’ are a copyright of Sir Dave Brailsford who invented that many years ago for his cycling team.

“I think it is about really leaving no performance on the table, minimising mistakes, and that may at the end contribute to winning or not winning, and it could be with the tiniest of margins.

As for upgrades for the W12 though, Wolff reaffirmed that there are no more to come, stating “all there is, is all we have.”

Mercedes were starting to fall back from Red Bull in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, but that situation changed completely across the British and Hungarian GPs.

As Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen battled through the first-half of Lap 1 in Britain, they collided, sending Verstappen into the barriers at Silverstone’s Copse corner.

Hamilton would go on to take victory, slashing Verstappen’s Championship lead, while Mercedes did the same in the Constructors’ with Red Bull scoring no points.

Then at the following round in Hungary it would be the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas wiping out Verstappen, causing heavy damage to the Dutchman’s car and eliminating the other Red Bull of Sergio Perez in the shunt.

Hamilton would finish P2 at the Hungaroring, resuming control of the Drivers’ Championship, while Mercedes took P1 from Red Bull in the Constructors’.

Next up is the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, where Red Bull will look to rebuild momentum with a first victory at the venue since 2014.