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2021 hierarchy not clear for 'two more races'

2021 hierarchy not clear for 'two more races'
© Reuters
Red Bull may have a faster car over one lap, but the energy drink owned team thinks Mercedes still has a slight edge in racing conditions.

Red Bull may have a faster car over one lap, but the energy drink owned team thinks Mercedes still has a slight edge in racing conditions.

"Overall, both cars are very close together," said Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, after Max Verstappen won a hectic and slippery race at Imola.

"But both have strengths and weaknesses. We already saw in Bahrain that Mercedes looked a bit stronger than us at the end of stints. They've made a lot of progress since the test in Bahrain, and they're not standing still now."

As for which car is better, Horner answered: "I think we have to wait two more races for that."

Dr Helmut Marko agrees: "We certainly have the faster car on a single lap. But our tyre wear was greater."

Another big factor, of course, is the drivers. "Look at the difference they make," former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos said after Sunday's race.

"When we look at those second drivers, Bottas and Perez, we can see what happened to them," he told Ziggo Sport.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas had a poor race weekend from start to finish at Imola, while Sergio Perez impressed Red Bull in qualifying but then made a key late mistake in the race.

"Winning the constructors' championship is why they brought him in," Doornbos said, referring to Perez. "At the end of the day, that is extremely important to them."

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Lewis Hamilton pictured during qualifying for the Imola Grand Prix on April 17, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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