Red Bull warned to be ‘more concerned’ about Ferrari despite Lewis Hamilton title battle

F1: Hamilton v Verstappen in numbers

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Red Bull have been criticised for “not making a step forward” in terms of its technical development over the course of the season compared to other teams on the grid. The Austrian team managed to get both its drivers on the podium at the Turkish Grand Prix, but it wasn’t enough to convince one former racer that Red Bull are not being left behind by Mercedes.

Max Verstappen came home comfortably in second in Istanbul, though he was never able to challenge Valtteri Bottas for the lead during the race.

The Finn started quicker and never looked back, driving flawlessly to secure his first race win of the season.

Verstappen was not able to make the most of the wet conditions in the Turkish capital, and was forced to settle for being runner-up on the day, ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez in third.

Meanwhile, Verstappen’s title rival Lewis Hamilton finished fifth after a pit stop blunder halted his push forwards after starting 11th due to a new engine component.

For former F1 driver Jan Lammers, it was evidence that Mercedes have left their title rivals behind when it comes to the development of their car.

“I think there’s a lot more to it,” the racer told the Dutch NOS Formula 1 podcast.

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“First of all, Max was happy that it wasn’t dry, because in this situation he had at least a bit of a chance, otherwise Hamilton would probably have been quicker to get to the front.

“But take it all in – we had a race yesterday in wet conditions where you can make the difference as a driver. Even in those conditions, he couldn’t beat Bottas.”

He continued: “We say Mercedes have made a step forward, but it goes much further.

“A lot in the top ten have made a step, except Red Bull. Red Bull almost got passed by AlphaTauri in the dry this weekend.”

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Red Bull are bidding to beat Mercedes in the constructors’ championship for the first time since 2013 this year, but have fallen to 36 points behind after Bottas’ win and fastest lap in Turkey.

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Christian Horner’s team will be giving it everything to reel in the Silver Arrows between now and the end of the season, but Lammers, a former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, says they ought to be looking over their shoulder at those improving behind them.

“Mercedes have obviously made a step forward compared to Red Bull, but I think Red Bull need to be much more concerned that they don’t have to fight Ferrari and AlphaTauri later on,” he said.

“Also look at how [Fernando] Alonso went with his fifth place, so Renault might get involved with Alpine as well.

“So there’s a lot more going on than Mercedes having gained a bit compared to Red Bull. No, Red Bull are one of the few that haven’t made strides compared to the others.

“I think they really need to see if they can find something for the rest of the year, because otherwise it’s going to be really hard work.”

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