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Helmut Marko

Marko makes Red Bull prediction after first pre-season test

Helmut Marko is confident that Red Bull have plenty of pace in hand after finishing second to Mercedes at the opening pre-season test of 2022.

Verstappen Barcelona Test
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool / Getty Images

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko reckons his team are "on par" with 2021 title rivals Mercedes and slightly ahead of Ferrari after the first week of pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Red Bull ended the test second to Mercedes on the combined timesheets, but neither Max Verstappen nor Sergio Perez used Soft tyres, while Lewis Hamilton and George Russell did.

In addition, Marko suspects rival teams were running less fuel than Red Bull when they posted their quickest times, leaving him hopeful for what's to come when F1 moves on to Bahrain.

"We are satisfied," Marko told F1-Insider, as he looked back on the first test.

"I'm sure we had more fuel onboard compared to most of the others, [so] I think we are on par with Mercedes and just ahead of Ferrari."

Marko weighs in with his thoughts on Masi

Another topic that made the headlines during the first test week was the restructuring of Race Control, with the FIA electing to remove Michael Masi from his position after the controversial 2021 season finale.

After Verstappen's comments that Masi was "thrown under the bus" by the FIA, Marko unsurprisingly echoed his driver's views and feels that Masi's role, rather than the Australian's actions, should have been studied in more detail.

"I don't think it's right that he was removed in this way," said Marko.

"It wasn't Masi as a person who should have been questioned, but his job description."

As such, Marko expects the new technology being introduced for 2022 will greatly assist the two newly-appointed Race Directors, Niels Wittich and Eduardo Freitas.

"In the meantime, work is being done in the background for a modern solution, like in soccer, with video evidence," he said, referring to the planned Virtual Race Control Room, adding that this "is the way of the future".

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: All you need to know after the first 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 so far.

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