Ralf: Mercedes don’t have to ‘cheat to be fast enough’

Finley Crebolder
Mercedes push Valtteri Bottas' car to its grid spot. Qatar November 2021

Mercedes push Valtteri Bottas' car to its grid spot. Qatar November 2021

Ralf Schumacher says that Mercedes have no need to cheat and are fast enough without breaking the rules. 

The German team very much look to have the fastest car on the grid again in the closing stages of the 2021 campaign, being comfortably quicker than Red Bull in Brazil and Qatar.

Their title rivals are suspicious about how they’ve gained such an advantage, believing that the rear wing of the W12 could well be illegal and working hard to prove it to the FIA.

There have also been some complaints, including from Schumacher himself, about Wolff and co changing Lewis Hamilton’s engine at Interlagos despite the fact that there weren’t any issues with it. They simply did so to gain a performance advantage, deeming it worth taking a penalty for, which some feel isn’t right.

The uncle of Haas driver Mick doesn’t believe the Mercedes rear wing is illegal though and says the reigning champions have no reason to cheat.

“We have seen again here [in Qatar] that Mercedes is fast enough and does not have to cheat,” he told Sky Deutschland.

“I do not assume that any team willfully disregard the rules. If you go close to the limit, something can always go wrong and you get into grey areas.”

The stronger machinery as well as excellent performances from him have allowed Hamilton to close the gap to Max Verstappen at the top of the standings to just eight points with two rounds to go.

Given the cars that the two drivers have, Schumacher feels the Dutchman has “no chance” of winning his first World Championship unless he finally has luck on his side.

“The Mercedes is currently the more stable package,” he added.

“Max gives everything and shows how good he is. Under normal circumstances, however, he has no chance. Maybe he will have the luck that he has lacked so far.

“If he had that already at the beginning of the season, he might now be World Champion.”


He also thinks Verstappen will need help from team-mate Sergio Perez and isn’t sure that the Mexican is fast enough to provide such assistance, although he feels the same applies to Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes.

“First of all, both of them have to be in a position to help their team-mates,” said the German.

“They are not currently, although they have the best cars. Sergio was far away the whole weekend, even if the race did go better.”


Hamilton's commanding win at the Qatar Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton narrowed Max Verstappen's title lead to eight points with victory in Qatar.