Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko does not believe Ferrari will keep up with Red Bull in the 2022 development race.
Ferrari started the season scoring big points while Red Bull, their closest rivals, were tasked with the challenge of overcoming reliability problems.
Ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Red Bull expressed confidence that their reliability concerns were behind them and arrived at Imola with a number of upgrades, despite limited practice time to trial their new parts.
And it proved to be a masterstroke, with Max Verstappen scoring the second Grand Slam of his career, while Charles Leclerc placed sixth after making contact with the wall.
Marko: Verstappen would be ahead were it not for reliability
"It was very important after our problems in Bahrain and Australia, from the engine side," Marko told Sky Sports News, speaking shortly after Verstappen's Imola triumph.
"Another 1-2 - the last one was 2016 in Malaysia - so it was about time. For the morale and everything, it's more than important.
"It shows that we are competitive. We just have to get the package together and then we are there.
"I mean, twice [Verstappen lost] 18 points. He would be easily ahead [otherwise], but there are so many races coming and the important thing is that we know we have such a strong package."
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Marko confident Ferrari will not keep up with Red Bull
When asked if Ferrari will be able to keep up with Red Bull's rate of evolution, with more upgrades expected over the coming races, Marko said: "I don't think so.
"What we also saw is that we put real pressure on them and they're making mistakes. You could see that Leclerc span on Friday, twice. [Carlos] Sainz spun [in the race], then Leclerc again."
As a result, Verstappen moved within 30 points of Leclerc, as Red Bull closed the gap to Ferrari to just 11 points.
"It's quite a cute and, I would say, very sportive and friendly competition between Ferrari and us," added Marko.
"The championship will be very exciting and hopefully it doesn't go to the last race like last year."
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