Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko admits that the Milton Keynes-based team has not just one reliability issue to resolve at the start of the Formula 1 championship season, but several areas of weakness in the first three F1 races of the year when compared to Ferrari.
In the space of three races, the Red Bull team has seen driver Max Verstappen retire twice, while team-mate Sergio Perez also suffered a mechanical failure in Bahrain and retired. But Helmut Marko revealed that the RB18’s reliability is not the only problem at Red Bull this year, as the Austrian team’s car also suffers from poor balance and is around ten kilos heavier than Ferrari.
“There are two or three things that affect us. First of all the reliability problems, which we didn’t have last year, but there is also the difference with Ferrari which was very alarming in Australia,” Helmut Marko explained on Austria’s Servus TV.
“They just controlled the pace and did it without having any graining. As soon as Max came back on him, Leclerc could react easily. We were surprised by the speed of the Ferraris, they had almost no graining, whereas we had graining after only a few laps. I think Ferrari can find a good balance with their car in an easier way.”
Marko also points out that the issue of weight, which is also an economic issue in this cost cap era, and can affect reliability:
“Our car clearly weighs more than the Ferrari and I think we have a weight handicap of about ten kilos, which is equivalent to about three tenths of a second per lap,
“But losing weight is expensive. It’s firstly an economic issue and secondly it’s also related to reliability, so it’s a complex issue because of the budget cap. We are going through difficult times,” concluded Marko.
After the Australian Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing is third in the constructors’ championship with 55 points scored since the start of the 2022 campaign.