“We are happy to have Ferrari as opponents”

(Motorsport-Total.com) – Helmut Marko is an old-school racing driver. After Red Bull’s double failure at the season opener in Bahrain, his mood was at an all – time low. After Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, not even the worries about the bombing near the racetrack can dull his mood for a long time. Max Verstappen won the race in Jeddah, and RB18 has proven that it is a car with the potential to defend the world championship.

Helmut Marko at Sport and Talk from Hangar-7 (ServusTV) on March 28, 2022


Marko makes no secret of the fact that he is “very happy” that Red Bull’s opponent in 2022 is Ferrari and – at least at first glance – no longer Mercedes. “It’s a completely different atmosphere,” he says in an interview with ‘ServusTV’, which was recorded on Monday night on ‘Sport and Talk from Hangar-7’ and can now be seen in excerpts on the Formula 1 YouTube channel.

In particular, great respect was shown between Charles Leclerc and Verstappen on Sunday night. The two had fought hard against each other on the race track, but immediately after his defeat, the Ferrari driver said on the pit radio: “Well done to Max. It was great.”

“Ferrari is like us. There is passion, there is emotion, sportiness and respect. And you can feel that in all areas,” says Marko. “We have a competitive relationship, but with sporting rules. And it’s not only noticeable in the drivers, but also in the technical coordination or design. You can exchange ideas with Ferrari. It’s comfortable.”

Sportingly, of course, he considers Ferrari the toughest opponent in the battle for the World Cup. “Ferrari has the most universal car. It’s fast first time in any case, with all types of tires and at any temperature,” analyzes the 78-year-old.

In addition: With Leclerc, Ferrari has one of the super talents in Formula 1 under contract – and after a mixed 2021 season for him, the 24-year-old Monegasse seems to be in top form again. At least in the first two races, the conditions within Ferrari were clear.

To Marko’s annoyance, whose hope was that the Ferrari drivers would take points apart: “Last year Sainz beat Leclerc, but this year Leclerc is in top form. That means we can not expect any support from Sainz. So it will be a situation like ours where there is a very clear number 1 driver. “

As for Mercedes, Marko believes Lewis Hamilton’s performance in Saudi Arabia (Aus in Q1, tenth in the race) should be “forgotten”. Hamilton “ruined the poll and drove at times as if it were on ice. I’m convinced they’ll fix it over the next few races. […] They will definitely come. And it will probably end in a three-way match. “

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According to Marko, there are “some reasons” why Red Bull won the first race with RB18, but still has not reached the peak of possible long-term performance. One of them is: “Our car is too heavy. If you are ten kilos over the minimum weight, it is between three and a half and four tenths on a track like Saudi Arabia.”

From Red Bull’s point of view, the fact that you are above the minimum weight prescribed by the FIA ​​is “still not quite to explain”. And compensating for this shortfall will be an even more difficult task in 2022 than before. For the upper budget framework requires teams to think very carefully about when and where to invest money in further technical development.

“Weight reduction means more expensive materials that are lighter, and you also have to make new parts,” explains Marko. The plan, therefore, is now to combine the next major update with lighter construction “to stay within this economic framework” because: “We can not build parts twice.”

Videos with statements by Helmut Marko about the first two races of the season and about the bombing on the sidelines of the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix are now available on the Formula 1 YouTube channel. Subscribe to the channel for free and activate the clock to receive notifications of new Formula 1 videos.

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