Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko applauded rival Formula 1 team Ferrari after Charles Leclerc took pole position in France.
Red Bullthe doctor Helmut Marco applauded the rival of the Formula 1 team Ferrari after Charles Leclerc won pole position in France.
“Ferrari played very well,” he said, referring to the manner Carlos Sainz gave a teammate an aerodynamic drag that secured the championship lead Max Verstappen could only start Sunday’s race at Paul Ricard from the second place.
Marco, however, remains upbeat.
“The distance is tiny. I’d say three-tenths is not realistic – it’s maybe a tenth,” he said.
“Until the 2nd quarter, the fight was at eye level. Then Ferrari organized a smart play so that the gap was not as sharp as it seems.”
Verstappen agrees that the real gap to Leclerc is not actually three-tenths and said that Red Bull cannot implement a similar strategy with Sergio Perez.
“Cech and I wanted to get the best starting positions for both of us,” said the Dutchman. “As Carlos had to start at the back with the penalty, it was a smart decision on their part.”
Marco now wonders if Ferrari will face more reliability issues in the French heat on Sunday.
“We have seen some problems with the engines in Ferrari,” he said.
“In these temperatures, it would be risky for them to drive the entire distance at full power.
“The Honda engine is not like that,” the 79-year-old added. “As far as reliability goes, things are looking good for us. We’re not worried about that.”
As for Mercedes, the German team had high hopes for some upgrades in France on the ultra-smooth Paul Ricard surface, but the final gap from pole was nearly a full second.
“I’m not sure why that gap has widened over these two races,” he said Lewis Hamilton. “They (Leclerc and Verstappen) are in a league of their own in terms of performance.”
Hamilton’s former teammate Nico Rosberg said: “Every time there is talk of a new update that brings them closer to Ferrari and Red Bull, they end up falling behind.
“It’s a little disturbing.”