How Red Bull is losing the 2021 championship

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Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 battle for track position at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 18, 2021 in Imola, Italy.
Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W12 battle for track position at the start during the F1 Grand Prix of Emilia Romagna at Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on April 18, 2021 in Imola, Italy.
Photo by Bryn Lennon

After Formula 1's travelling circus departed the Circuit de Catalunya following last weekend's Spanish grand prix, the scoreboard reads 3-1 in favour of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the championship fight against Max Verstappen.

For many, this comes as a mystery or disappointment – especially because the latter's Red Bull team started the season as the favourite, with a car that was clearly the class of the field.

For Mercedes, who'd initially struggled with a raft of issues, a lack of rear-end stability through a mandated loss of rear downforce, in particular, it was always going to take a few races to decipher the W12's inner secrets fully; all the while anticipating to fall behind a jackrabbitting Red Bull cashing in on their rival's early-season development hell.

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Lewis Hamilton
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