Helmut Marko: They didn't expect what we'd do; the cars look like ours from last year

Marko emphasized that choosing a more innovative rather than a cautious approach in designing a new car involves taking risks

by Sead Dedovic
Helmut Marko: They didn't expect what we'd do; the cars look like ours from last year
© Mark Thompson / Getty Images Sport

Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko is pleased with the opening-day performance of Red Bull's new RB20 during preseason testing in Bahrain. Red Bull aims to enter this season with the same motivation as in previous years. The pressure is on them, as there is an expectation of another championship win from this Austrian team. 

What is also impressive is the confidence of the leaders of this team. They have no doubts that this will be a season where they will again secure the championship. Helmut Marko is happy, considering that the current concept is working. The car has proven to be great, and they have the goal of progressing even further in the coming period. The engineers and leaders of this team have understood well what is important to change and what philosophy to create.

"Very, very, very impressive. We ran 142 laps, without any problems, more or less. And the concept is working. So that was the first main thing. The car is reacting, and we are developing. Yeah, it looks good.

Whatever changes we did and whatever we tried, the car was reacting, and more or less it was fine-tuning, what happened now. We all were smiling a lot.”- Helmut Marko said, as quoted by f1i.com

Marko emphasized that choosing a more innovative rather than a cautious approach in designing a new car involves taking risks. He highlighted the uncertainty by pointing out problems faced by Mercedes, contrasting it with the successful performance of their car right from the start. Formula 1 is a sport that requires certain innovations and adaptations.

If you don't have an ideal adaptability, your car will feel it, as will the results on the tracks. Therefore, the leaders of Red Bull were willing to take risks, all intending to achieve even greater progress. Looking at the previous season, it's difficult for this team to break last season records, but when you have a driver like Max Verstappen on your team, you start to believe in the impossible. 

The Dutchman has become a complete driver, just as they expected him to become. The most important thing is that he has built confidence. The fear of opponents seems to have disappeared in him, and this could be the momentum that will secure him several more championships. 

However, it is still too early to predict anything, given the unpredictability of the F1 world. Looking at this sport throughout history, we can notice how many surprises there have been. Red Bull is an ambitious team that wants to break all records! Fans of this team believe in such a possibility.

Helmut Marko reacts to other teams' progress

Marko also praised the exceptional reliability of their vehicle and compared it favorably to Ferrari, which he suggested was encountering more issues, particularly with tire performance. Additionally, he commented on the perceived nervousness of the McLaren and speculated on the actual speed of Mercedes, expressing confidence in their own car's capabilities. 

A person with years of experience on the big stage surely knows how to thoroughly analyze opponents and make realistic predictions. Marko wanted to assess the positions of other teams, and based on his statements, it seems Red Bull could still be a dominant force in 2024. Although Red Bull leaders are unlikely to openly declare confidence in winning the championship, there's a growing feeling that some individuals within the team genuinely believe in it. However, this is just the start, and time will show who can rise to the challenge and compete with Red Bull for the championship. It's a tough task for everyone involved. Red Bull has been working on its philosophy and car for years, and these are the moments when they start to see the results of their hard work.

Helmut Marko and Sergio Perez
Helmut Marko and Sergio Perez© Mark Thompson / Getty Images Sport

Helmut Marko amused many after a journalist asked him, "Have you seen progress from other teams?" The advisor of the Red Bull F1 Team believes that Red Bull is always one step ahead of the others.

"I think they didn't expect what we would do,” he said. “How should I say? The cars all look like [ours from] last year."

Helmut Marko also commented on Red Bull's RB20 and the fact that some want to copy their concept. Marko believes that an extended period of work on such a concept is necessary, and it's challenging for anyone to succeed in that. Red Bull indeed has an excellent team. Each individual takes their job seriously, which is no wonder why this team has progressed so much and become a dominant force in the F1 scene. Their dominance could endure.

"It takes a while to do such a concept."- Marko concluded.

Helmut Marko