Marko on the ‘problem’ with Red Bull’s overweight RB18

Date published: February 28 2022 - Michelle Foster

Max Verstappen RB18 in the Red Bull garage in testing. Barcelona February 2022

Red Bull’s RB18 is one of the 2022 cars that is suffering with a weight problem, Helmut Marko has revealed.

Last week the all-new cars hit the track at the Circuit de Catalunya where Mercedes set the pace, Lewis Hamilton leading George Russell in a 1-2, while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was third.

The times in testing count for very little, it is more of an indication of who may have got it very wrong rather than who could be leading the pack.

But while Red Bull were up there, the team’s motorsport advisor Marko says they are suffering with one big problem, the car is overweight.

This year Formula 1 raised the minimum weight to 795 kilograms, a 43kg increase, but teams are said to be struggling to get down to that threshold.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, one team boss says some of the cars are “two digits above the minimum weight”.

A significant portion of that increase is because of the larger 18-inch wheels and tyres from Pirelli while bigger wheels mean bigger brakes.

There are also structural changes to the chassis to improve safety, which also come with more weight.

Last year’s Drivers’ Championship winners Red Bull are struggling to shave kilograms off their RB18.

“The only problem we have is weight, but all teams have that,” Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.com.

“Thank God the minimum weight has already been raised, but there is still a lot of work to do before the first race.”

The Austrian is hoping that a meeting of the Formula 1 team bosses will see them agree an increase.

“Let’s see if there isn’t another increase,” he added.

That, however, is unlikely as in order for an increase to be written into the rules at this late stage, eight of the 10 teams would have say yes.

It is doubtful that only two teams have succeeded in getting their cars down to the minimum weight.

Marko, though, seems to think that actually only one has managed to do it.

“All but one of the teams are struggling with the weight problem,” he said.

Auto Motor und Sport claims that one team is Alfa Romeo with McLaren “not far off”.

“Only Alfa Romeo should have no problems,” said the German publication. “The McLaren MCL36 is said to have put on just a few love handles too much.”

Marko was on hand to watch the opening group shakedown at the Circuit de Catalunya last week and gave his assessment of the pecking order.

 

He told Auto Motor und Sport that Ferrari are looking good “for once” but then questioned “how much more fuel did they have on board?”

As for McLaren, he says their pace-setting times were only because they are “chasing sponsors”.

 

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