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Red Bull engine guru draws conclusion over Ferrari's reliability issues

Masashi Yamamoto, former Managing Director of Honda and now an engine consultant at Red Bull, believes that the team are still outperforming Ferrari in terms of their power units.

Red Bull engine guru Masashi Yamamoto is confident that the team still have an advantage over Ferrari, despite the Scuderia seemingly outpacing their title rivals during the Austrian Grand Prix. After winning Saturday's Sprint event, Max Verstappen was unable to fend off Charles Leclerc in Sunday's main race, with the Monegasque taking his first win since the Australian Grand Prix back in April. However, Yamamoto feels that Verstappen did a good job to hold onto second place. "It was a good race, but looking back it was tough," Yamamoto told Japanese website as-web . "We did our best in the beginning, but the tyres were getting worse and worse. I think Leclerc was faster than anybody else. However, Max did a great job to hold on to second place and set the fastest lap. "Towards the end of the race, I thought it was going to be interesting [when Leclerc's car had a throttle problem], but Ferrari were faster. But I think Red Bull also gave it their all. "We won the Sprint and finished second [in the race], and we didn't lose a lot in the championship points."

Red Bull Powertrains performing better than Ferrari, says Yamamoto

It was not an entirely smooth day for Ferrari at the Red Bull Ring, though, with Carlos Sainz forced to retire due to an engine failure on Lap 56 of 71. With this in mind, Yamamoto believes that Red Bull Powertrains – whose power units are still developed by Honda, despite the Japanese manufacturer's exit from F1 at the end of 2021 – are performing better than Ferrari. "It is true that Ferrari were strong, but looking at Sainz's blown engine, I think that HRC [Honda Racing Corporation] and Red Bull Powertrains are better in terms of overall performance, including reliability," he added.

Are Ferrari now the favourites?

Whilst the Scuderia looked strong in Austria, Yamamoto does not think that they are suddenly the favourites in the title battle, though he had expected them to perform well at the four races in July. "I don't think the tide has changed," Yamamoto concluded. "I originally thought Ferrari had the advantage in the four races in July, except for the next race in France. "I thought it would be two wins and two losses at best, and realistically one win and three losses."

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