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Helmut Marko

Marko provides update on Red Bull's early-season issues

Max Verstappen's hopes of defending the F1 world title have been dented by retirements from two of this season's first three races.

Verstappen Australia
To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is confident that the team will soon be on top of their reliability problems after receiving fresh assurances from engine manufacturer Honda.

Max Verstappen was forced to retire in Bahrain and Australia due to seemingly unrelated fuel system issues inside his RB18, leaving the reigning World Champion 46 points adrift of Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc in the standings.

With the relevant parts being shipped to Honda's headquarters in Japan for analysis, Marko recently stated that Red Bull had determined the "very complex" root cause of Verstappen's latest retirement, albeit stopping short of naming it.

Specific cause of Verstappen's retirement confirmed

In a new update, Marko pointed to a "high-pressure fuel line" breaking, most likely due to the effects of the porpoising phenomenon.

He also indicated that Verstappen's engine will be fit for use going forward, after marshals stepped in at Albert Park to put out a small fire at the back of the car.

"Everything is okay [with the engine] – no problem at all," said Marko in an interview with Austrian broadcaster ORF.

"[The retirement] was due to a high-pressure fuel line that burst. It was probably because of the bouncing. That was simulated on the test bench, but uncanny forces are in play."

Put to Marko that the Red Bull appear to be dealing with porpoising better than Ferrari and Mercedes, he agreed to an extent.

"We've got that well under control, but still there are little movements," he commented.

"We assume that this was the main cause of the damage to the fuel line."

Red Bull given assurances by Honda for Imola

Asked whether Ferrari's recent pace advantage or Red Bull's technical issues hurt the most, Marko admitted: "The reliability. That was a big blow and we are now well behind Leclerc. But we reacted quickly.

"From the engine side, I think you can see the problems we had in Bahrain were completely different than, for example, the ones we had in Australia, and also the problems we had in testing – they are always different things."

Marko added that Red Bull have been promised corrective steps for this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

"According to Honda, we can expect that to be fixed - probably - by the next race," he said.

Also interesting:

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RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher look back over the Australian Grand Prix, where Ferrari's Charles Leclerc triumphed and Red Bull's Max Verstappen retired.

F1 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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