Marko: Mercedes criticisms of Red Bull F1 team not from a “serious competitor”

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko has said recent remarks Mercedes has made about his squad are irrelevant because he does not view its Formula 1 rival as a “serious competitor.”

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

With Red Bull dominating the current F1 season, the opposition has been casting a critical light both on the performance of the team and where Max Verstappen’s form stacks up in an historical context.

Suggestions from Lewis Hamilton that Verstappen’s roll of victories had been achieved without as strong a team-mate challenge as he had faced in his own career served to trigger plenty of debate on social media.

Furthermore, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff caused some controversy after the Italian Grand Prix when he played down the significance of Verstappen’s record-breaking 10th successive win – saying it was something only for Wikipedia.

Marko, who is Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, suggested that Mercedes’ comments said more about the attitude of the German manufacturer and were not something that he was fussed about.

“This is the difference [between Mercedes and ourselves],” he told Autosport.

“We look at our team to get the best performance out of our own team, and we don’t worry about Mercedes as long as they are not a serious competitor for us.

“We just look at our own stuff. We do our best and we don’t make up all these kinds of stories like they are doing.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing, in Parc Ferme after the race

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing, Helmut Marko, Consultant, Red Bull Racing, in Parc Ferme after the race

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Marko’s remarks about Mercedes come after Verstappen suggested the team was not finding it easy to accept defeat after years at the top of F1.

Speaking at the Italian GP, he had said: “I think it's very difficult for Mercedes to deal with losing. That's the problem you have when you've won for so many years of course.

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"But, at the end of the day, you have to be realistic as well. If it's not possible [to win], then it's not possible. You have to be able to appreciate what other teams are doing as well. We did that in the years when Mercedes dominated.

"Back then we just said to ourselves 'we have to work harder', because at that time we were simply not good enough compared to them.

"You can keep saying that the things we are achieving at the moment are not that special, or at least that is probably what they think, but in the end, you just have to focus on yourself because that is the only thing you can influence."

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