Team advisor Helmut Marko believes Red Bull Racing should fear the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One team more than Scuderia Ferrari this season in the title race. The Austrian consultant mentions Mercedes’ advantage in terms of strategy and reliability for the upcoming season in Formula 1.
Red Bull and Max Verstappen had a dominant season in 2022. Ferrari could still compete with the team at the start of the year, but it soon became clear that the Italians were making too many mistakes and lacked reliability. As a result, Verstappen managed to take home his second world title already in Japan.
Ferrari hopes to come back stronger this season, but Red Bull must also take Mercedes into account. After a mediocre season with just one win, the German team is working hard on the W14 to compete in 2023. Mercedes has always been good at further developing the car, something that was also evident last season. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell managed to get some strong results at the end of the year.
“I would say that we should fear Mercedes more, mainly because they have an advantage over Ferrari in terms of strategy and reliability.” Marko told Motorsport.com in an interview.
“Our situation is certainly not like that of Mercedes at the beginning of the hybrid era, we don’t have an immense lead with the engine right now. So that is very different. Mercedes had at least 50bhp margin over all the others back then and we shouldn’t forget: 2022 has been the first year under this new set of regulations. Other teams have obviously seen what we have done with this year’s car. So I think it will definitely be much closer next season.”
Ferrari, like Mercedes, is serious about addressing the problems within the team. Frederic Vasseur from Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen will replace Mattia Binotto as team manager next season. In any case, Marko expects the field to be much closer together, as the other teams have been able to observe the RB18’s strengths following the rule changes.