F1: Sainz Jr. is ‘obvious’ number 2 at Ferrari – Marko

(GMM) It is “obvious” that both Red Bull and Ferrari operate in Formula 1 with defacto number 1 drivers.

That is the view of Dr Helmut Marko, who pushed back on the idea that modern F1 teams all now operate strict policies of driver equality.

In fact, Red Bull’s Marko admits that the energy drink owned team’s defacto number 1 is reigning world champion Max Verstappen, supported by Sergio Perez.

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen of the Netherlands (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

And at Ferrari, where the Italian team insists that Carlos Sainz Jr. has equal status to championship leader Charles Leclerc, Marko believes the actual driver policy is “obvious”.

“Last year, Sainz defeated Leclerc but this year Leclerc is in great shape,” the 78-year-old Austrian told Servus TV.

“This means that we cannot expect any support from Sainz, as their situation will be the same as ours – there is an obvious number 1 driver.”

He is referring to the fact that if Sainz, or any second driver, takes points off the team leader, that is only a help to rival teams like Red Bull.

“I think we are in a good position,” Marko added, “but we have an almost equal opponent in Ferrari.

“Leclerc is driving absolutely flawlessly this season, so it will be an exciting year.”


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