Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has warned that a historic unbeaten season “is becoming a goal now” for the team with eight races of F1 2023 remaining.
Max Verstappen’s victory at the recent Italian Grand Prix maintained Red Bull’s run of winning each of the 14 races held so far this season, with the final flurry of flyaway rounds separating the team from greatness.
A so-called ‘invincible’ season has never been done before in F1, with McLaren-Honda coming the closest by winning all but one race of the 1988 season with the celebrated MP4/4 car driven by Ayrton Senna and Alan Prost.
Historic unbeaten season coming into view for Red Bull
The only race McLaren failed to win that year was in Italy, where Ferrari secured a memorable one-two finish in the first grand prix following the death of founder Enzo Ferrari.
Thirty-five years on, Ferrari also put up a spirited fight against Red Bull at Monza before Verstappen claimed a record 10th successive win.
With that hurdle cleared, Marko is increasingly convinced Red Bull can make history if they can manage to avoid defeat at this weekend’s Singapore GP, a race in which Verstappen could only manage a distant seventh last year after an error-strewn qualifying session.
He told Motorsport.com: “First of all our goal is to secure the World Championships.
“But let’s say if we win in Singapore, then the chance is there that we can win all the races. Of course, it is becoming a goal now.
“In the beginning of the season, it was not realistic to win all the races and it has never happened before. McLaren was stopped [at Monza], so the press constructed a story that the curse would hit us as well, but we didn’t let it hit us.”
This year’s Singapore GP will be held on a revised circuit layout due to redevelopment work in the city, with the notorious seafront section that takes the cars under a grandstand – the scene of Nelson Piquet Jr’s infamous 2008 crash, which sparked the Crashgate affair – replaced by a flat-out blast.
While Fernando Alonso claimed earlier this season that Singapore is a circuit where Aston Martin could compete for victory, Marko remains wary of the Ferrari threat at the Marina Bay venue – and he dismissed suggestions that Red Bull could struggle more on a tight and twisty track.
He said: “Like every race, we have had a competitive car everywhere – so why should that not be the case in Singapore?
But I have to say Ferrari – and especially Leclerc – is a specialist around there. If they are faster in qualifying, then it could become a problem for us because overtaking in Singapore is very difficult.
“But I’m still optimistic that the package we are bringing to Singapore is good enough to win.”