Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes the team’s ability to develop their car, coupled with Ferrari‘s deficiencies and driver errors, are the reasons behind the sizeable gap in the F1 standings.
Max Verstappen heads into this weekend’s 2022 Singapore Grand Prix with a chance to become F1 World Champion for the second time.
For that to happen, the Dutchman must win Sunday’s race, with Charles Leclerc finishing ninth or lower, while Sergio Perez would need to finish fourth or lower without the fastest lap, or fifth or lower with the fastest lap.
Given Leclerc hasn’t finished outside the top six in races he has completed this year, Verstappen may have to wait to celebrate just yet. When discussing why Red Bull are in a position to win with six races remaining, Marko pointed to Ferrari‘s dip in performance and driver errors as the reason.
“Our car has always improved, while Ferrari have shown technical deficiencies, along with driver errors, which has turned the gap into a comfortable advantage,” Marko told ORF.
“After three races we were 46 points back, and this gap was largely due to the excess weight of our car. The first retirement was actually caused by a measure put in to try and reduce the weight, while the second was due to a technical problem.
“When we reduced the weight, two or three kilos per race, we saw improvements, along with a development plan that was very intense.
“We focused on the front of the car. Max needs a car that he can attack with from the front, what happens with the rear isn’t of much interest.”
Marko prefers Japan
With Verstappen unlikely to clinch the title in Singapore, a more realistic target is next weekend’s race in Japan.
Marko would have no issues delaying the party until then given Red Bull‘s relationship with Honda.
“From a marketing perspective, it would be better to win the title in Japan given our partnership with Honda,” said Marko.
“We can assume that Max will become World Champion for a second time, it’s only a matter of time.”