Red Bull admit Ferrari is faster

Ferrari is very fast on the straights according to Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko. Although it is difficult to predict the true hierarchy after only three days of winter Formula 1 testing, Helmut Marko can confirm that Ferrari has increased its pure speed on the straights this season, challenging and even surpassing the Red Bull 2023 car.

After three days of winter testing in Bahrain last week, Helmut Marko believes that Red Bull is still the team to beat this season, not least because they are still much better prepared than they were last year at this time.


Red Bull made a strong impression in winter testing with a car that once again looks capable and reliable, as Sergio Perez set the fastest time in pre-season testing on the final day with a 1.30.305, beating the pole position set by Charles Leclerc at the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Although it is still a little too early to establish a hierarchy, Helmut Marko is very optimistic for Red Bull after a productive test.

“We are actually in a better position than we were a year ago because we have covered more kilometres (2235 km). The car is running well and we were able to start refining [the set-up] straight away,” Helmut Marko explained in an interview with Oe24.



Ferrari is very fast on straights

When asked to compare Red Bull to Mercedes and Ferrari after the three days of testing, Marko believes that the data shows Red Bull still has some advantage, although the Austrian admitted that no one knows if the others ran at full power.

“Surprisingly, both teams [Mercedes and Ferrari] struggled with the bounce again. Then they adjusted their chassis and it should work better now. But I think we are still the best.”

“However, no one can know: did everyone run at full power? How much fuel did the others have in the tank?”



Red Bull car still quickest across a lap

The one thing Marko seems confident about after this pre-season testing is the Ferrari SF-23’s superior speed on the straights at Sakhir, but the Austrian believes the Red Bull is still the best car on the grid thanks to its aero package which allows it to make up ground in the more twisty sections.

“Ferrari has increased the power on the straights, they take a lot from us, but we make up for that with our overall package.”

As for Max Verstappen – who is putting his world title back on the line this year – Marko believes the Dutchman has never been better prepared physically and therefore expects to see his star driver fight for the world championship again.


“Max has continued to improve over the winter, physically and as a pilot. He has even improved his plane to the point where he can now do his e-races and e-games at any altitude. Now he can also train in the air.”

The 2023 F1 World Championship kicks off this first weekend in March with the Grand Prix of Bahrain



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