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Marko points towards surprise team behind Red Bull in Jeddah

While the team had a competitive day by topping both practice sessions in Jeddah, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has pointed towards some surprise rivals for the chasing pack.

Even though Max Verstappen started the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on the backfoot having come down ill with a stomach bug, he was back in the paddock on Friday. The Dutchman wasted no time in setting the benchmark lap times in both practice sessions, his quickest lap in FP2 two tenths faster than teammate Sergio Perez. Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko was pleased with the running during the day, but believes that the order is slightly closer compared to Bahrain a fortnight ago and predicts a surprise rival for the team. "Ferrari has a little more in the engine. Behind us, at least it's going to be an exciting fight between Alpine and Fernando Alonso - and to some extent Ferrari," he said to Sky Germany . Speaking about Red Bull's pace, he says the team has not found any problems with car setup but it is still in the dark about which tyre compound is better for race runs. "We are satisfied and we have found the right adjustment for the car," he said. "As for the choice of tyres, we still have to take a look at what is better for the race. "That's why we put Verstappen (Soft) and Perez (Medium) on different compounds with the long runs."

Problems at AlphaTauri

In between the practice sessions AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost said he lost confidence with his engineers, after a disappointing start to the season in Bahrain. Coming into this weekend the team still appears to be struggling with the same aero drag issues, with Yuki Tsunoda 13th fastest and Nyck de Vries 17th fastest. "After last year, of course, it's no secret that we are far from satisfied. In terms of aerodynamics, we are far from where we want to be," said Marko. "We need to look at how we can change that. If we have the best car on the field, then AlphaTauri has to match that standard."

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