A ll charts and projections have a favorite. Defending champion Mercedes is starting the new season with a head start. But how far are the Silver Arrows ahead of the field? The scholars argue about this. The teams not involved in the three-way battle for the top claim eight tenths. Half a second means Red Bull. At Ferrari, the time advantage of the Mercedes is put at three to four tenths. Niki Lauda plays the pessimist: “We are two tenths ahead.”
Then the Austrian unpacks a typical Lauda saying, which perhaps comes closer to the truth. “I hope you all get bored. I traveled to Melbourne just to see it for myself. ”And adds apologetically:“ In my responsibility together with Toto, I have to see it that way. ”Team boss Toto Wolff doesn't think much of reading coffee grounds:“ I think that's our lead is less than many calculate us. The others have brought upgrades to Melbourne. We don't. 'He warns:' Barcelona was very special with the new asphalt and the low temperatures. I don't think we can draw a lot of conclusions from it. ”
Hope for tire problems at Mercedes
We'll get a first hint of how things might go in the racing simulations in the second practice on See friday. The qualification will then show the truth. Even if it rains. Even in wet conditions, Barcelona did not offer much hope. In a direct comparison with Intermediates, Valtteri Bottas was eight tenths faster than Sebastian Vettel.
Despite the gloomy forecasts, the opponents of Mercedes are hopeful. Because maybe Barcelona was just a snapshot without much meaning. Because Mercedes has worn its tires more in Barcelona. 'I think we will be closer to Mercedes in the race,' hopes Red Bull team boss Christian Horner. Sebastian Vettel sees it similarly: “Mercedes is still ahead. But the lead can be made up. ”Only for the qualification both see black. “Mercedes will turn the power screw again. We are powerless against that, ”Horner fears.