Mercedes Admit No Chance to Catch Red Bull in 2011

Red Bull Racing impressed not only the fans, but also most of their rivals when they so clearly dominated the season opening Australian Grand Prix last weekend. And with reports that Sebastian Vettel has actually done some sandbagging last Sunday during his comfortable win at Albert Park, people are starting to ask themselves whether the 2011 F1 title is up for grabs anymore.

Clearly the most impressed of Red Bull's rivals this season have been the guys at Mercedes GP, who have outspokenly admitted that the Austrian team and their incredibly fast RB7 will be out of reach this season.

After Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug admitted he hasn't seen such a dominating car in F1 in years, Nico Rosberg himself revealed the aim for 2011 will be to improve on 4th place last season. We're not sure if the organization has entirely given up on race wins for the ongoing campaign, but from the looks of it they're not very enthused with how the season started.

We have to say that Sebastian (Vettel) and Red Bull are far ahead of everyone,” said Rosberg in a recent interview with Germany's Bild newspaper. “In the chasing field, we want to play a serious role and improve on our fourth place of last year.”

Now on the winning side, Red Bull have given up modesty themselves this week, as both Adrian Newey and Christian Horner admit the RB7 cannot be challenged in F1 for the time being. And considering that the team didn't even use the power-boosting KERS technology last weekend, we might see an even stronger performance from the Red Bull drivers two weekends from now, in Malaysia.

Red Bull's motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has a pretty good idea of how the championship battle will look like in 2011, as he revealed the only teams capable of deploying an aggressive car development programme through the year are McLaren and Ferrari.

Very few teams can take a car and make it much more competitive – besides us, only Ferrari and McLaren (can),” said Marko, hinting that the 2011 title will likely be a 3-way affair.
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