Helmut Marko says Ferrari put on a “red demonstration of power” during Friday’s practices at the Hungaroring, Charles Leclerc almost three-tenths up on Max Verstappen.
Ferrari set the pace in Friday’s two practices for the Hungarian Grand Prix, first Carlos Sainz was P1 and then Leclerc.
On a hot day in Budapest, the Monégasque driver laid down a 1:18.445 to beat Lando Norris by 0.217s while Sainz was third and Verstappen P4.
The latter was 0.283s off the pace of his title rival.
Marko concedes Ferrari were superior everywhere, both in the corners and on the straight.
Calling it a “red demonstration of power”, he told Auto Motor und Sport that “with a gap like that, you’re not just slower in one corner”.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) July 29, 2022
This year’s championship has seen Ferrari win the cornering while Red Bull’s RB18 has often close the gap down the straights.
The Hungaroring has just one but Marko reckons it all came down to a set-up change they made after FP1, one that will be reversed before Saturday’s action.
“We clearly deteriorated and now we have to go back and find the best compromise,” the Red Bull motorsport advisor said.
According to AMuS journalist Michael Schmidt, ‘it is difficult to put a figure on how much of this is due to the track layout and how much of a difference is made by the new underbody used for the first time in France. In any case, Red Bull had no chance.’
As for Verstappen, he’s thankful there will be rain on Saturday as without he doesn’t believe Red Bull can beat Ferrari.
“I think they are a bit ahead of us and I think it will be hard for us to beat that,” said the championship leader on Friday evening.
“Overnight we’ll try to close the gap as much as you can and see what the weather will give us as well tomorrow.
“I think in the dry we can’t compete so maybe in the rain we can, who knows.”
Verstappen will line up on the Hungaroring grid 63 points ahead of Leclerc in the race for the World title.
Looking ahead to the Hungarian Grand Prix
The Hungarian Grand Prix is the final race before Formula 1's summer break.