WATCH: Drivers will have their eye on pole position at fast Imola track
This weekend will be a big one for Red Bull, and they have much to prove when the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix race weekend starts on Friday at Imola.
There is no doubt that at the season-opening Bahrain GP three weeks ago, they were the fastest team on the paddock, and held an advantage, however slight, over their rivals Mercedes. And it is not just pundits and fans who believe this to be true. The Silver Arrows came out this week and admitted us much.
"We may have won the first round, but we are under no illusions that this is going to be an easy season," said team principal and CEO Toto Wolff. "Our car still lacks speed on a single lap and Red Bull have the edge at the moment."
The great hope for this weekend is that Red Bull, through either Max Verstappen or Sergio Perez claim victory, and in the process reiterate their consideration as potential challengers to the crown held for so long by Mercedes. Nevertheless, it could all be mind-games being played by Wolff and co - they have had three weeks after all to work on their car and its setup.
Imola is a fast track, but tight, so pole position will be important. If Red Bull can claim one position at the front of the grid, or even lock it out, it will go a long way to secure an important win. AlphaTauri will be the other team to watch - Imola is their home track and the team has tested extensively there. They have a powerful car, and with the right setup, will be in the mix for a podium finish.
Baut, as the race weekend starts, all eyes will be on Red Bull and the possibility that they will outpace Mercedes.