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Helmut Marko

Marko not ruling out Mercedes title fightback

Red Bull's Helmut Marko has admitted he's still wary of a Mercedes title challenge, despite their slow start to the year.

Marko bahrain
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Helmut Marko believes that Mercedes are still prime contenders for this year's World Championships as the teams all find ways to unlock more performance from their new machinery.

With F1 going through a seismic regulation change for 2022, it's Red Bull and Ferrari who have hit the ground running and kicked off the new regulation cycle by winning the first seven races of the championship.

Mercedes, as the reigning Constructors' Champions, have struggled by comparison. The squad have scored three podiums with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, and appear to be in a 'no man's land' where they are easily clear of the midfield but not quite able to challenge the leading two teams on outright pace.

The Silver Arrows trail Red Bull by 101 points in the Constructors' table but, with the W13 showing clear signs of progress at the recent Spanish Grand Prix, Marko thinks it is only a matter of time until the Brackley-based outfit are joining the fight at the front.

Marko wary of Mercedes comeback

"Nonsense," Marko bluntly told Austria's OE24, when asked about whether the title is already coming home to Milton Keynes.

"I just did the maths: we still have 15 races ahead of us.

"Even Russell is just 41 points behind [Max] Verstappen [in the Drivers' Championship]. Everything is still possible there."

With Mercedes appearing to figure out a solution to their ongoing porpoising issues, the seeming crux of their lack of outright speed, Marko said it's impossible to write Mercedes out of the 2022 story.

"Their car is getting faster every day, from the top times they are already at our level or even better," he added, also revealing that he believes Hamilton's performances will kick up a gear when the car comes to life again.

"So you really shouldn't write them off. If Mercedes suddenly dominates everything again, then Hamilton will be back too."

Marko: Ferrari reacted wrongly to Monaco pressure

With Red Bull snatching an unlikely victory away from Ferrari at the Monaco Grand Prix, as Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz led 1-2 in the early stages, Marko was asked about why the Scuderia appeared to be making more mistakes than Red Bull at an operational level.

"You are under pressure, Leclerc has a hard time with that and makes mistakes," Marko pointed out.

"This is racing. In Monaco, we forced Ferrari to react with our pit tactics and they reacted instinctively wrong."

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