Mercedes will once again be the team to beat heading into 2021, but technology director Mike Elliott is mindful of the threat Red Bull pose with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in their ranks.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas are back as the German manufacturer push for an eight consecutive constructors' title, but they aren't the only strong pair set to take the grid this season. Elliott, when asked to choose the strongest duo on the grid outside of Mercedes, didn't hesitate in picking out the Red Bull duo of Verstappen and Perez.
“When you look at the teams we are competing against you’re obviously going to look at Red Bull,” Elliott stated while speaking with The Muscle Help Foundation.
“They will be our strongest opposition and I think in Verstappen they have a very good driver, and I think Perez will be a strong second driver to him for scoring points when Verstappen doesn’t or supporting in their bid for the constructors’ championship.”
Elliott will also be keeping on eye on other drivers as well, picking out Ferrari's Charles Leclerc for success.
“Then I think if you look at the key drivers, Leclerc is obviously a really good driver," Elliott added. "It’s going to be interesting to see how Vettel gets on at Aston Martin, see whether he can reignite his career
“Then I think most Mercedes people, as well as looking at our own drivers, probably would also follow what George [Russell] is doing at Williams.”