The official Australian Grand Prix podcast In the Fast Lane has returned for its second season, with the first episode of 2021 featuring Sky Sports F1 pundit Ted Kravitz.
Kravitz joined In the Fast Lane co-hosts Matt Clayton and Michael Lamonato to look at Mercedes’ pre-season struggles, Daniel Ricciardo’s early impact at McLaren, and whether Ferrari can bounce back at this weekend’s season-opening race in Bahrain.
Despite Mercedes winning its seventh consecutive constructors’ championship in 2020, Kravitz said they are not the obvious favourite ahead of the first race of the 2021 season.
“Mercedes had a horrible test,” Kravitz said. “All the sounds coming out of them is that they have a very, very difficult car.
“We’re hearing the same sort of words, ‘hypersensitive’, ‘very nervous’, ‘unpredictable’, ‘unforgiving’ and those are the words of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.
“I think for the first time in a long time we can safely say that Mercedes are not the favourite going into the first race.”
Kravitz also discussed Ricciardo’s chance of winning a world championship with new team McLaren.
“Clearly, he’s in the business now of getting in a car that can challenge for the world championship,” Kravitz said of the Australian driver.
“I don’t think anyone doubts that he would be able to put a championship campaign together if he had the right car.
“He has to believe it, I guess, he has to believe that in three years’ time this McLaren Mercedes, with clever things like a trick diffuser and stuff like that, is going to be a team with which he can challenge the world championship.
“I’d say at this point that would be optimistic.”
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