Formula 1 analyst Peter Windsor has weighed in on the upcoming F1 2024 season, emphasizing Red Bull’s advantage in execution over Mercedes, even if the latter’s W15 delivers as anticipated. Windsor attributes Red Bull’s edge to their two seasons of front-running knowledge and expertise in mastering the current F1 ground effect regulations.
In a recent YouTube livestream, Windsor, a former Ferrari and Williams team manager, shared his insights on the dynamics between Red Bull and Mercedes as they gear up for the third season under the current regulations. Despite Mercedes’ push for a fresh and “more conventional” philosophy with their W15, Windsor remains confident that Red Bull will maintain the upper hand in execution.
Windsor highlighted the crucial experience Red Bull has gained in navigating the challenges of F1, encompassing diverse variables such as circuits, conditions, track surfaces, Pirelli tire compounds, and degradation. With all Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles in the last two seasons going to Red Bull, Windsor suggests that even if Mercedes matches Red Bull’s performance, their lack of experience with the specific car could pose a significant obstacle.
Regarding Mercedes’ driver lineup, Windsor pointed out the challenge Lewis Hamilton faces in beating his teammate, George Russell. Red Bull’s clear driver hierarchy, with Max Verstappen leading alongside Sergio Perez, contrasts with Mercedes’ dynamic, where Hamilton and Russell compete without a clear hierarchy. Windsor believes this could hinder Mercedes in a title battle with Red Bull.
“Even if Mercedes do get it right, Lewis has still got to beat George Russell,” Windsor explained. He emphasized Russell’s speed and consistency, suggesting that Russell could potentially take points away from Hamilton, unlike the situation at Red Bull where Perez rarely hampers Verstappen’s performance.
Responding to the prospect of Hamilton claiming a record-breaking eighth World Championship in F1 2024 if Mercedes delivers a leading challenger, Windsor acknowledged Hamilton’s capability but emphasized the challenge posed by Russell’s presence in the sister Mercedes. While Windsor doesn’t consider Hamilton better than Verstappen, he acknowledged Hamilton’s prowess and potential for success if the car performs.
Both Hamilton and Russell secured new contracts with Mercedes during the past season, committing to the team until the end of 2025. The F1 community eagerly awaits the unfolding narrative as the teams prepare for the challenges of the upcoming season.