Red Bull straight-line speed ‘mind-boggling’ – Wolff

Red Bull appears to be in a class of its own when it comes to straight-line speed this seasonRed Bull appears to be in a class of its own when it comes to straight-line speed this season

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has declared the straight-line speed of this season’s Red Bull to be “mind-boggling” after watching Max Verstappen breeze past Lewis Hamilton during Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.

On lap 13, and with Verstappen hunting down race leader Hamilton, Verstappen opened up the DRS on his RB19 and went around the outside of the W14 on the left-handed sweep before Turn 9.

The manoeuvre was almost as if the two cars were running in different categories, such was the ease with which Verstappen completed the overtake.

Offering his take on what proved to be the decisive pass of the race, with Verstappen and Hamilton going on to finish one-two despite the chaos at the end, Wolff said: “They (Red Bull) have a straight-line speed advantage with the DRS open that is just mind-boggling.”

Conceding that Red Bull deserves its place at the head of the field, Wolff added: “But this is meritocracy.

“If you have a car that’s quick on the straight because you’re doing the right things, then it’s up to us to sort this out and find tools in order to have that same straight-line performance.”

Red Bull “holding back” – Russell

George Russell has gone so far as to suggest that Red Bull’s superiority is so vast at present that it is refusing to show its full hand for fear of being reined in by the FIA.

“For sure, they’re holding back,” said Russell, despite beating Verstappen off the line at Melbourne’s Albert Park, only to retire with a blown engine.

“They’re almost embarrassed to show their full potential because the faster they seem globally, the more the sport is going to try and hold them back somehow.

“Realistically, they probably have seventh-tenths (of a second) advantage over the field. Max has no reason to be pushing it, nor has Red Bull.

“They’ve done a really great job, to be fair to them. (You) Can’t take anything away. We clearly have to up our game.”

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