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Helmut Marko

Marko criticises lack of 'innovation' in F1 as rivals copy Red Bull

Dr Helmut Marko has underlined what he feels is a lack of "innovation" in F1, with the chasing pack copying concepts adopted by Red Bull.

Marko Saudi
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To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has bemoaned there being no space for "innovation" in F1, as he highlights how rivals have "copied" approaches taken by his team.

As F1 heads to the Canadian Grand Prix, eyes are fixed on the battle at the front. Over the previous three rounds, both McLaren and Ferrari have reeled in the once-dominant RB20.

First the Woking squad introduced a raft of updates that won on debut in Miami, with Max Verstappen being beaten on track for the first time since the Singapore Grand Prix last year - even if Lando Norris was handed a considerable slice of good fortune.

After a difficult weekend in Imola, in which the Dutchman claimed pole position and the win in what felt like an against-the-odds scenario, Monaco proved to be the team's real undoing. Ferrari made the most of the upgraded package it brought to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and Charles Leclerc dominated at home. 

Now, Red Bull is faced with the prospect of having to prove it can sustain its advantage, having began the current season in the same imperious form it ended 2023 in.

Marko, however, was quick to point out that in order to catch the Milton Keynes-based team, the competition has replicated concepts developed by Red Bull, and even enhanced them.

"We have lost the dominance of the first three races," the 81-year-old explained to Kronen Zeitung. "The competition has caught up in the third year of the current regulations. 

"In the process, they have copied and even improved a number of things. There is not much room for innovation anymore. It's just a logical development, nothing honorable."

The Verstappen factor

Red Bull is anticipating another tough weekend in Montreal, with the return to 'traditional circuits' - like the following round in Spain - where the team expects to be back to full strength.

The difficulties it faced in Monaco are routed in the RB20 struggling over bumps and kerbs. Street circuits are increasingly becoming a weakness for the team. With the steps taken by McLaren and Red Bull, exacerbating an existing issue and turning it into a full-blown problem for the team.

Those flaws will be on display at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve this weekend. The track in Montreal requires aggressive kerb-riding to extract the most lap time - something Red Bull will find difficult.

However, there is but one saving grace for the team: changeable weather conditions. As often the case at the Canadian Grand Prix, rain is expected throughout the weekend, with the potential for the race itself to be a dry-wet affair.

To Marko, this will suit Red Bull, its lead driver excels in such conditions, which could be a mitigating factor against the insurgent McLarens and Ferraris. The Austrian contended: "When it rains, the Verstappen factor comes to the fore again." 

Also interesting:

In the latest episode of the RacingNews365.com podcast, join Ian Parkes, Sam Coop and Nick Golding as they look ahead to the Canadian Grand Prix, Red Bull's struggles potentially continuing and the news that Esteban Ocon will leave Alpine at the end of 2024.

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