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Helmut Marko

Marko downplays revolutionary Mercedes design as 'not that impressive'

Helmut Marko has said that Red Bull were left unimpressed by the performance of the Mercedes W13 during pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Hamilton Bahrain
Article
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has revealed that his team paid close attention to the performance of the Mercedes W13 in Bahrain, after the reigning Constructors' World Champions showed up to the test with a revolutionary new design.

Following a solid first test in Barcelona, Mercedes introduced extremely slimmed-down sidepods and a new mirror design – with the entire paddock sitting up at the sight of the tightly-packaged W13.

But, at the end of the three days, Red Bull's own updated RB18 ended up a second faster than the Mercedes on the same Soft C5 compound, and Marko said there hadn't been anything particularly noteworthy about their rival's performance.

"We looked more at the performance and it wasn't that impressive," Marko told Austrian publication OE24 at the conclusion of testing.

"What Mercedes brought looks revolutionary. But what matters is the [lap] time. And the main thing is that we're the fastest again."

But Marko admitted to some wariness ahead of the season opener in Bahrain, explaining that Mercedes had also appeared to be struggling at the conclusion of pre-season testing in 2021 – only to show up and win the first race.

"I remember last year, when Mercedes was also behind in the tests," he commented.

"But we are primarily concerned with our car, and we are doing well there."

Marko confident Red Bull are on top of porpoising issues

While Mercedes have struggled to get on top of their 'porpoising' issues, preventing them from unlocking more lap time, Marko said there are no such issues at Red Bull.

The RB18 looked considerably smoother than the W13 when on a fast lap of the Bahrain circuit, and Marko is feeling confident in this area.

He added: "We also have that under control. We are completely satisfied with the new car and with all the updates.

"Now, I'm just waiting for qualifying on Saturday, when the engine will be revved up and all the cards will be on the table."

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: All you need to know after the second pre-season test

At the end of the first pre-season test of 2022 in Barcelona, Dieter Rencken and Thomas Maher discuss the on- and off-track developments in Bahrain.

F1 2022 Bahrain pre-season test RN365 News dossier

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