Max Verstappen says Red Bull’s 2021 pre-season test was “definitely” his best in Formula 1, but the Dutchman and team boss Christian Horner have both dismissed suggestions that Mercedes are no longer the favourites for the title. After an impressive three days in Bahrain – where the new RB16B car was reliable and, most importantly, rapid – Red Bull have been heralded by many in the paddock as the team to beat once the season begins at the same Sakhir track on March 28.
“I don’t think we are the favourites,” Verstappen said. “If Mercedes wins that many championships in a row, I think it’s still the same as before we came to the test.”
“They come into this year as absolutely the favourites.” Red Bull boss Horner said. “They’ve been so strong in the last six, seven years and it’s the same car as last year, more or less, just an updated version. There is a change to the technical regulations which obviously may have an effect on things but I don’t think you can read too much into their testing.”