Stoffel Vandoorne gave some insight into how Mercedes handled a “totally new situation” in Red Bull and their resurgence.
Mercedes dominated the sport from 2014 to 2020, and they maintained their high standards in 2021. However, Red Bull discovered a great surge of pace, and they were level with their German counterparts in terms of results and pace.
Foe a team which was used to fending off challenges in clinical fashion, Red Bull proved to be harder to dispose of. The Brackley outfit failed to net the Drivers’ Championship, but still pipped their rivals to the Constructors’ Championship.
Team reserve driver Vandoorne gave some insight into how Mercedes handled a “totally new situation” in Red Bull and their resurgence.
“It was very intense and above all very interesting to see internally how the team was handling this totally new situation and competition against Red Bull,” he said, as quoted by Racingnews365.com.
“Believe me, they were hyper-motivated and maybe even more so than when they dominated F1. They knew that every weekend everything had to be perfect and there was no room for error.
Switch in tactics
“I think Lewis changed his approach on track from the middle of the season when the bumps and contacts were becoming more and more frequent,” he continued.
“He knew exactly who he was up against and he adapted. We had one of the best F1 seasons of all time.
“Every weekend it was Max (Verstappen) against Lewis (Hamilton) and this opposition, which put the same two drivers face to face every week, created a great story.
“It was all anyone could talk about, there was a lot of pressure. Verstappen and Hamilton were on another planet this year. Both deserved to win the title,” he concluded.