That Red Bull Racing started as favorite in the 2023 Formula 1 World Championship was already understood in the pre-season tests in Sakhir, but that its advantage over its competitors had such a large margin was clear only a little less than two weeks ago, again on the track in Bahrain, which hosted the first round of the season.
A brace, the one set up by Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez together with the RB19s, which left no one with the right to reply. The first rivals were over 30 seconds behind, while the only one who seemed to be able to contain the humiliation had to retire due to reliability problems.
A disconcerting start. For the opponents, of course, but also for all the Formula 1 enthusiasts who so hoped to be able to attend a World Championship – if not exactly like the 2021 one – at least capable of providing emotions right down to the last lines.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
Photo by: Erik Junius
Yet in Red Bull all this advantage seems to be almost non-existent. Or rather: yes, now there is. But with the passing of the year this will certainly decrease, if not disappear. Helmut Marko’s word, never dull when it comes to talking about the team he advises.
According to the manager and former Austrian driver, Red Bull will reach a point where it will have to deal with the effects of the penalty imposed on it last year after exceeding, albeit slightly, the maximum spending limit linked to 2021 imposed by the Budget Cap.
“We have been fully prepared for the season,” Marko told Motorsport.com exclusively. “Once we knew the penalty would be imposed it was clear that as we entered the wind tunnel we had to do it efficiently and every run with a clear plan.
“We’ve managed to do all of that at the moment. But of course, as the season progresses and wind tunnel time runs out, the others will still have this time available and our lead will shrink. That’s why it’s It’s extremely important to bring home the points.”
Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
According to Marko, Red Bull would not have the advantage it showed over its rivals in Sakhir. The Bahrain track has an asphalt capable of putting a lot of stress on the tires and giving advantages to the single-seaters that are better able to manage the tires.
“It was a race on a specific circuit where the surface is extremely rough, which means that tire wear plays a very important role.”
“Yes, we had a good performance. But there is no doubt that we have won all the races and have the world champion title in our pocket. If it were that easy, it would be nice,” concluded Marko.
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