Marko hails best ever Red Bull pre-season test

Red Bull has labelled last weekend's pre-season Formula 1 test as the best it has ever had, but it still thinks rival Mercedes has more "up its sleeve".

Marko hails best ever Red Bull pre-season test

The promising pace and reliability that Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez showed over the three days in Bahrain was in contrast to the difficulties that Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas encountered.

But although the general consensus is that Red Bull is coming out of testing in pretty good shape, the Milton Keynes-based team is far from complacent about things.

It knows Mercedes has a history of bouncing back from difficulties and drawing strength from stumbles.

Speaking to German TV station RTL, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko is very upbeat about his team's situation – but does not think Mercedes are in as bad a situation as some claim.

"That was certainly the best test since Red Bull Racing came into existence," said Marko. "Everything worked right from the start.

"But we know that Mercedes is the favourite, and I assume that they drove with much more fuel than we did.

"The fact that they didn't really align with others in terms of fuel load, that already shows that they must have a lot of confidence. So we assume they still have a lot up their sleeves.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"Mercedes is the favourite and we are the first challenger. That's how I see the situation. Behind them, it's going to be a battle. I think McLaren will stand out a bit, but not at the level of Mercedes and us. The midfield is certainly closer together."

Red Bull had specifically targeted its new RB16B being a more predictable car, after the aero anomalies that blighted the team's 2020 car and left Verstappen and Alex Albon battling its nature sometimes.

Read Also:

Marko thinks that Red Bull has produced exactly what it wanted, which should leave Verstappen and Perez better able to push things to the limit.

"Compared to Mercedes, our car definitely seems calmer," he said.

"Of course, that makes it easier for a driver. It's predictable, and you can work better at the limit. But that was also the goal.

"We didn't want to make the car slower so that it's easier to control. We wanted a fast car that is predictable. And I think we achieved that well."

Marko also thinks that Perez has shown already in testing that he has adapted well to his switch to Red Bull and should be a good match for Verstappen – especially on Sundays.

"With his routine and experience, we already expect him to be very close to Verstappen, at least in the race," he explained.

shares
comments

Related video

The tech gun helping teams to master F1’s 2021 tyres

Previous article

The tech gun helping teams to master F1’s 2021 tyres

Next article

Vettel confident Mercedes will bounce back after troubled test

Vettel confident Mercedes will bounce back after troubled test
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Christian Nimmervoll
How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021