F1: Budget cap penalty will ‘vanish’ Red Bull’s lead
(GMM) Red Bull’s rivals could rapidly catch up in the latter part of the 2023 season, Dr Helmut Marko has warned.
As the season got off to a start in Bahrain recently, however, it was clear that the reigning champions have a clear margin ahead of Ferrari, Mercedes, and new ‘top four’ newcomer Aston Martin.
“As of now, I have to say that we have eliminated the few weaknesses that we had, while Ferrari is still struggling with immensely high tire wear,” Marko told the German broadcaster ntv.
He said even Red Bull’s significantly reduced wind tunnel development time, as a result of the 2022 results but also the budget cap overspend penalty, could not put a brake on the team’s performance.
“What we lost with the wind tunnel we gained in motivation,” said the 79-year-old.
“We managed to prepare in an optimal way for this season. When we knew that this sanction would be imposed, it became clear that the wind tunnel had to be used in an efficient way. For the moment, we have succeeded.
“But of course, as the season progresses and we run out of time in the wind tunnel, the others will still have time available and our lead will vanish.
“That’s why it’s so important that we take the points now,” Marko added.
But he says wild claims from Mercedes’ Toto Wolff and George Russell that Red Bull will win every single grand prix in 2023 are not serious.
“These words from Russell can perhaps be explained by the frustration of Bahrain,” said the Austrian. “It was a race on a specific circuit, where the asphalt is very abrasive, which means that tire wear plays a very important role.
“Yes, it is true that we had a very good performance. But enough to win all the races? That we already have the title? Of course, if it were that easy, it would be fantastic,” Marko smiled.