Helmut Marko has revealed that Red Bull are happy to have swapped out Mercedes for Ferrari as their main rivals on-track this year.
Following a particularly acrimonious 2021 title fight between Red Bull and Mercedes, the reigning Constructors' World Champions appear to have taken a step back this year as their W13 has failed to show any notable performance over the two Grand Prix weekends so far.
That's in stark contrast to Red Bull, which won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after a race-long battle between Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, a week after the duo also had a tremendous scrap for the win in Bahrain.
With Red Bull's main competitor seemingly now Ferrari, as Mercedes scramble to keep up, Marko says the fight is far more "pleasant" than it had been with the Silver Arrows.
Mako: Ferrari are like Red Bull
Marko went on Austria's ServusTV, a Red Bull-owned broadcaster, to speak about the early part of the 2022 season, and the battle with Ferrari.
"Ferrari is like us," he explained.
"There is passion, there is emotion, sportiness, and respect. And you can feel that in all areas.
"We have a competitive relationship, but with sporting rules. And that is not only noticeable with the drivers, but also in the technical coordination or design. You can exchange ideas with Ferrari. It's pleasant."
Unsurprisingly, given how close the fights in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia were, Marko has earmarked the Scuderia as Red Bull's main title rivals for this season.
"Ferrari has the most universal car," he said.
"It's quick the first time under all circumstances, with every type of tyre, and at every temperature."
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Red Bull still chasing the weight limit
Marko went on to speak about Red Bull's battle to get their RB18 down to the weight limit of 798 kilogrammes, indicating that there's more performance to unlock by managing to achieve a small amount of weight loss.
"Our car is too heavy," he commented.
"If you are 10 kilos over the minimum weight, that's between three-and-a-half to four-tenths [of deficit] on a track like Saudi Arabia."
Due to the constraints of the budget cap, which has been reduced to $140 million dollars for 2022, Marko added that the plan is to combine their next update with the construction of lightweight parts.
"Reducing weight means more expensive materials that are lighter, and you also have to make new parts," Marko explained.
"The plan is therefore now to combine the next major update with more lightweight construction in order to stay within this financial framework, because we cannot build parts twice."
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Mike Seymour, and Thomas Maher look back over the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix in Jeddah, which was won in dramatic fashion by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.