Helmut Marko fears ‘difficult times ahead’ for Red Bull in 2022
Helmut Marko has said there are still “unknown” problems with the Red Bull RB18, and was “surprised” at Ferrari’s pace in Australia.
Charles Leclerc drove a dominant race to complete a Grand Chelem for the weekend – having earned pole position, led every lap and gained the fastest lap of the Australian Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez did take second for Red Bull, but was a full 20 seconds behind a Ferrari that looked in a class of its own around Albert Park on Sunday.
Max Verstappen also retired from the race partway through, however – his second DNF in three rounds this season – calling the car’s failure “frustrating and unacceptable” afterwards.
Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko was able to shed a bit of light on what happened, though.
Gutted. Very frustrating to end another race like this as we were looking at an easy P2 😤
Congrats to @SChecoPerez on scoring another podium. 💪
We have to work hard the coming days to get on top of things and improve for Imola. pic.twitter.com/6hEUlkvwZK
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) April 10, 2022
“It leaked petrol, but we don’t know where and how,” Marko told Sky Sport Germany after the race, quoted by GPFans.
“It just leaked a lot of petrol. That’s why we said he should stop immediately – preferably where there is a fire extinguisher.”
Marko added that it is not just in the engine where the team is currently struggling at the moment, with the cost cap also restricting the areas of development on the car in places – giving him and the team a “balancing act” about where to go next.
As a result, he feels it could take time before things improve again from a Red Bull point of view.
“We don’t just have these reliability problems, which are actually largely unknown to us – we don’t know that at all,” he said.
“The other thing is this weight problem. We’re well ahead [heavier] of Ferrari there. That’s a difficult balancing act, even with the cost cap.
“Difficult times are ahead of us. We were surprised at how fast Ferrari was today.”
Leclerc was able to streak clear after each Safety Car restart, putting distance between himself and the rest and setting the fastest lap of the race to boot.
“They had to pay much less attention to the tyres than we did,” Marko explained relating to Red Bull’s deficit. “Ferrari was in a class of its own and, unfortunately, we were clearly behind, even though [Sergio] Perez drove a great race.”
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