Helmut Marko believes Mercedes fall foul of bouncing at the Red Bull Ring, saying that will make them a “little slower”.
Last time out at Silverstone, George Russell uttered the magic words that Mercedes have been wanting to hear all season: “No bouncing”.
The latest round of upgrades from the Brackley squad, which included a revised floor, seemed to have done the trick.
But with Mercedes believing back in Spain that the issue had been resolved only to suffered extreme bouncing in Monaco and again in Baku, Marko has cast doubt over whether this round of upgrades has genuinely solved the problem.
Looking ahead to the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, he reckons Mercedes could be in for a tough time.
“We have the fewest problems or almost none [with porpoising],” the 79-year-old told Servus TV’s Sport und Talk.
“I expect it will be a bit difficult for Mercedes again, so they have to adjust the car higher, but that’s not a problem. Then they are just a little slower.”
🎙️ "No bouncing"
This could be big for Mercedes. Have they finally fixed the issues? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/zQbUx6Qt7r
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) July 2, 2022
He also reckons the Red Bull rebadged Honda engine will be the power unit to beat with the altitude and high speeds of Red Bull’s home track.
“The Honda power unit performs very well at high altitudes,” he said, “and it is on this track that we obtained our first victory with Honda in 2019.”
Mercedes, though, have shown in the past that they can win on Red Bull’s home turf, the two teams the only two victorious since F1 returned to Spielberg in 2014.
Red Bull won three of the last four Austrian GPs, Verstappen victorious in 2018 with Renault power, 2019 and again in 2021. The latter two wins were Honda-powered.
As for 2020, that went to former Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas who also won in 2017, Mercedes’ fourth win in succession starting in 2014.
This season Verstappen heads into round 11 chasing his seventh win of the season while Mercedes are still seeking their first.
The reigning World Champion has a 34-point lead over his team-mate Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ Championship.
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