Marko points out Red Bull’s weaknesses: ‘Then it could just be that we don’t win’

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Marko points out Red Bull's weaknesses: 'Then it could just be that we don't win'

After two race weekends, Red Bull Racing has taken 87 of the maximum available 88 points. In 2023, the team won 21 of the 22 Grands Prix, and since the team does not seem to have lost any form, there is already speculation about the chance that Red Bull will win all races in 2024. Helmut Marko thinks that is unlikely, and immediately explains why.

In Bahrain, Carlos Sainz finished as the best non-Red Bull driver, 25 seconds behind Verstappen, and in Saudi Arabia Charles Leclerc was eighteen seconds behind. “It may not have been very entertaining for the spectators, but we were superior, you just have to admit that,” Marko told the German branch of Sky Sports F1. Still, the Austrian was not one hundred percent satisfied. ‘We weren’t very good at warming up the tyres. In addition, the tire wear on the hard tires towards the end of the race was higher than expected,” said Marko, who had found a negative point after all.

Mercedes makes challenge clear

At the Austrian ORF, the team’s advisor also discussed the competitors, with Marko remarkably praising Mercedes’ choices. “Their strategy actually worked very well,” says the 80-year-old. Marko is referring to the fact that Lewis Hamilton continued to drive on the medium tires, and in combination with the high top speed it was difficult to overtake. “So it wasn’t that simple at all.”

In the end, Hamilton only finished ninth, but the Red Bull Racing man sees that overtaking has become significantly more difficult in 2024, and that will play a role later. ‘It has almost become a qualifying championship. You have to make sure you qualify at the front, and then life will look a lot easier.’ The Briton had the fastest lap for a long time, but Verstappen was not concerned with that. “Max didn’t even ask.”

Marko does not count on his team being able to win everything this year, especially because the team is usually much stronger in the races than in the qualifications, a second weak point of the dominant team. “It becomes much more difficult at circuits where qualifying is crucial, such as Monaco and Singapore,” Marko told German television. ‘In Saudi Arabia, Max again owed his pole position to an extraordinary lap. However, if that doesn’t work, and we are not allowed to start at the front, then we certainly may not win.’

Schumacher has a different reading

Ralf Schumacher, analyst at the German version of Sky Sports F1, immediately went against the Austrian. “You were in a class of your own here, and it will probably continue that way,” Michael Schumacher’s brother suspects. ‘What I find impressive is that both drivers and the staff are doing their job so well, despite all the turmoil in the team. Max must have nerves of steel. It will also affect him personally, but he still remains faultless. He makes no mistakes and drives perfectly.’

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