May 12 (GMM/ Lotus is the “biggest surprise” of the 2012 season so far, Red Bull’s team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has admitted.

In an interview with Austria’s Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper, the billionaire mogul was mildly critical of the “lottery” that is this year’s championship, with Pirelli’s unpredictable tyres setting the scene.

“That is going to continue,” Mateschitz said.

“Then it will gradually turn into a duel between McLaren and Red Bull Racing,” he predicted.

“Mercedes are still not able to keep doing in the race what they are doing in qualifying. So we are not convinced of their F-duct (double DRS) system and we won’t try to copy it.

“Ferrari needs to try the hardest to catch up. And Lotus are the big surprise for me,” he insisted.