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Helmut Marko

Marko believes Red Bull and Ferrari now even as he praises Mercedes

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were both forced to retire from the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, allowing Red Bull to score their third 1-2 finish of the season. As such, Helmut Marko thinks that there is a level playing field now.

Marko Bahrain
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Helmut Marko believes that Red Bull and Ferrari are now on even terms after Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both suffered retirements at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Red Bull started the season fighting reliability issues of their own, with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez sharing three retirements across races in Bahrain and Australia.

But in recent weeks it has been Ferrari who have struggled to make the chequered flag, having recorded five DNFs in their last six races, including two for Leclerc.

The result has seen the standings flip; Verstappen now boasts a comfortable advantage over his nearest rivals thanks to the balance of fortune now being addressed, according to Marko.

"We've had two DNFs due to technical issues. Leclerc has had those too, so it's kind of a draw now," said Marko, speaking to German outlet Motorsport-Total.

Marko has rare praise for consistent Mercedes

Mercedes, meanwhile, remain within arm's reach of Ferrari in the championship standings, and have plenty of races ahead of them to catch Red Bull, should their car return to the front of the grid.

They have remained so close by benefitting from retirements at the front and regularly reaching the chequered flag as 'best of the rest'.

George Russell is 51 points behind Verstappen and just 17 away from Leclerc, who was at one stage considered a runaway leader.

Marko admits that the Silver Arrows have showed the importance of being consistent.

"You can see what is possible by being consistent, like Russell and Mercedes," Marko commented, offering praise to the Brackley-based squad.

"They don't have the speed, but consistency means they are not far off in points."

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