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“The Abu Dhabi GP produced a distorted image”

Former F1 driver Jan Lammers believes that red bulls the dominance of the 2020 season finale could actually play into Mercedes’ hands.

Max Verstappen won the race in Abu Dhabi with ease, looking comfortably stronger than the mercedes pilots, while Alex Albon was also able to compete with them.

It has rekindled hopes that with stable regulations in place, Red Bull could lead the fight against Mercedes throughout the 2021 campaign.

However, Lammers believes Mercedes may have given such hope to its rivals on purpose and could take advantage of it in the future.

“I think the Abu Dhabi GP produced a bit of a distorted picture,” he told the Dutch branch of Sports car.

“Maybe it’s just that Mercedes said to itself, ‘Let’s just do a little’.

“If Red Bull then thinks they have already closed the gap then that could be a strategically favorable position for Mercedes.

“I’m not saying that’s the case, of course we don’t know at all, but they have to take it into account.”

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If Red Bull cannot improve their performance in 2020 they may well be looking over their shoulder as McLaren, who finished behind them in the Constructors’ Championship last season, now have Mercedes engines.

They also have a new driver in their ranks in Daniel Ricciardo, and Lammers believes his partnership with Lando Norris will be good for the team in several ways.

“It would be very impressive if they could do it right away,” he added.

“They are lucky with their driver change. Norris and Ricciardo in one team will be absolute fun. The changes of the last few years and the team atmosphere that will be created there will make McLaren very strong.”

That being said, he doesn’t think they will take third place comfortably, as he expects Ferrari to make significant progress.

“I certainly don’t underestimate the progress Ferrari will make,” he said.

“They are coming with a new engine and knowing Ferrari it must be better. So you can expect a lot from that.

With reports that the Italian team is working on a radical engine concept ahead of the potential development freeze in 2022, Lammers might just be right sooner rather than later.

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