Falling short on Friday’s timesheet at Silverstone, Helmut Marko is concerned Red Bull’s latest round of upgrades have gone in the wrong direction.
The Milton Keynes squad joined their main rivals, Ferrari and Mercedes, in bringing new floors and engine covers to the British Grand Prix.
But while the latter two teams seem to have moved forward, Red Bull did not – at least according to the timesheet.
Carlos Sainz set the pace ahead of Lewis Hamilton while Max Verstappen, who had two notable lock-ups, was two tenths of a second down on the leading Ferrari.
Marko told motorsport-magazin.com: “We can’t find the right balance, have understeer and oversteer, too little grip in the slow corners.
“We are not working in the right direction yet.”
🗣️ "We know what we have to work on"
Max Verstappen reacts to his running during Free Practice at Silverstone 👇 pic.twitter.com/hN4fqE2ch8
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) July 1, 2022
Verstappen’s problems were compounded by a rattling noise he complained about several times in second practice.
Marko downplayed the issue.
“It came from the bodywork, something struck there,” he said. “It’s nothing serious.”
But while Red Bull have a lot to do before Saturday’s qualifying gets under way, Marko reckons Mercedes could be in the hunt this weekend.
Not only did Hamilton show pace on Friday but Mercedes are expected to have minimal porpoising at their home track.
“If they get it under control at all, it should be here,” Marko told Servus TV. “The track is relatively flat, there are fast corners and you can drive very low.
“They have also brought an update. In the best-case scenario, they will be up front.”
As for Sergio Perez, the Mexican driver was down in seventh place, some eight tenths off the pace.
He declared: “It wasn’t a great session.
“I think from our preparation we had and [in the] simulator, the car is miles off – so we assume there is something going on that we need to understand.
“It was a very, very short long run at the end. So not a great start. We are a bit on the back foot, so we just have to understand what’s going on with it.”