Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has expressed concerns over Max Verstappen's bid for the 2021 World Championship after Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes took an impressive victory in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Marko stated ahead of the event that he hoped Verstappen would be able to all but secure the 2021 title with a 10th victory of the season at Interlagos, but it was Hamilton who came out on top after a dramatic weekend.
Having recovered from several setbacks, Hamilton put his freshly-fitted engine to good use to reel in and pass Verstappen for the win in Sunday's race, with the Mercedes' straight-line speed catching the eye in the process.
Red Bull again raised questions post-race, amid concerns about Mercedes' rear wing as well, with team boss Christian Horner pointing to a peak difference of 30 kilometres an hour between Hamilton and Verstappen on the straights.
In an interview with Sky Sport Germany, Marko added to Horner's comments, saying: "We haven't seen an engine like this from Mercedes in recent years.
"They have managed to create a masterpiece and conjure up a rocket at this stage of the championship."
Honda's engineers are on the case
Marko explained that Red Bull have asked engine partner Honda to investigate where the speed might be coming from.
"We are looking at it and have already called Honda's engineers to think with us," he commented.
With Verstappen's advantage reduced from 21 points to 14, Marko is already fearing the worst for the title run-in.
"If it continues like this, it doesn't look good for the World Championship anymore," added Marko, looking ahead to next weekend's Qatar Grand Prix, which will be followed by visits to Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, Mercedes have increased their advantage over Red Bull in the Constructors' standings to 11 points.
F1 will head to Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2021, and RacingNews365.com recently paid a visit to the spectacular Jeddah Corniche Circuit.