Helmut Marko not only believed Red Bull have an advantage over Ferrari in the development war, but also that the latter can be forced into mistakes.
Red Bull had a perfect weekend at the first of Ferrari’s two home races, the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen claimed maximum points, first in the sprint qualifying, winning the grand prix and setting the fastest lap, 34 points in total.
His team-mate Sergio Perez made it a Red Bull 1-2, their first since 2016.
And the cherry on the top for Red Bull was that their main rival, Charles Leclerc, only scored six points in the grand prix as he put his Ferrari in the barrier while trying to chase down Perez.
Leclerc left Imola with his lead in the Drivers’ standings reduced to 27 points while Ferrari are only 11 ahead of Red Bull as Carlos Sainz crashed on the opening lap and didn’t score a point.
Marko is a happy man right now.
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) April 26, 2022
Speaking to Sky Sports News, he was asked if Ferrari, who will bring updates for the car to Miami, could out-develop Red Bull this season.
The 78-year-old replied: “I don’t think so.
“And what we saw was if we put real pressure on, they are making mistakes.
“You could see it… Leclerc spun in Friday twice, Sainz spun, Leclerc again.”
But while the Austrian is crowing about the result, he insists: “It’s a very sportive and friendly competition between Ferrari and us.”
Leclerc’s crash on Sunday was the first sign of trouble this season for the Monégasque driver who arrived at Imola with two wins and a P2.
That P2 was at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, the only race prior to Imola that Verstappen finished never mind won.
Two DNFs in the first three races have put the defending World Champion on the backfoot. Marko, though, believes there is plenty of time for him to recover.
“[Without his DNFs] he would be easily ahead,” added Marko.
“But there are so many races coming the important thing is we know we have such a strong package so the championship will be very exciting.
“Hopefully it doesn’t go to the last race like last year!”
Red Bull bounce back with 1-2 finish at Imola
Reb Bull knew they needed a good weekend, and they got exactly that with their drivers taking maximum points from the race.