When Mercedes arrived at Hockenheim ahead of the American Grand Prix, the title race was a two-horse race, with Sebastian Vettel atop the points standings and Lewis Hamilton second. Now in Germany, Ferrari has built a 29-point lead over Mercedes, and Vettel and Fernando Alonso are poised to run away with the title, even if both Mercedes cars will be contesting Sunday’s race, fuelled by fresh fuel.
Mercedes and Red Bull have been the talk of the paddock during the season. Before last month’s race in Japan, their first collision in all season seemed imminent. Then they spent two days together practising in Singapore, producing a stalemate. It was clear the German and British teams were striking up good relationships. Red Bull, even at this late stage, still seem better prepared for the end of the season.
They have answered Mercedes’ speed with superior durability. Since a frustrating and tough start to the season, where both cars did not finish in the top six, the Red Bull team have showed resiliency and raw skill to get back to the front.
The cars’ multi-stage dyno and the raw speed of its Formula One system mean they perform better for many laps than their rivals.
“I always said we’d be competitive,” Red Bull’s Robert Kubica, who is recovering from a horrific crash in 2011, told Reuters. “Now we can see we’re showing it.”
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