Helmut Marko says that it will be impossible to win the title for Red Bull if Mercedes continue to perform like they did in Brazil.
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton put in a dominant display in Brazil last weekend. The Briton’s W12 was a class above every other car in terms of pace. Hamilton was forced to start the Sprint race from 20th after being disqualified from qualifying. In spite of that, he breezed past 15 cars in 24 laps to finish 5th.
On top of that, the Mercedes driver took a 5 place grid penalty for changing his Internal Combustion Engine. That meant that he was to start the main race from 1oth on the grid. As he did the previous day, Lewis put in another stunning performance in an unstoppable Mercedes car to win the Sao Paolo GP.
SUNDAY 🍾 IN 🍾 BRAZIL 🍾
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 16, 2021
The pace shown by the Silver Arrows has left everyone in the Red Bull garage worried. Soon after the race, team principal Christian Horner called Mercedes’ speed advantage “mind-boggling”.
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko seems to agree. He thinks that unless Mercedes themselves fall off, performance wise, it’s going to be very difficult for them to win the title.
I have never seen such a rocket ship from Mercedes before, says the Red Bull chief
The remaining three race on the 2021 F1 calendar take place in Qatar, Jeddah and Abu Dhabi. All three circuits feature very long straights that on paper suit Mercedes. And if the Silver Arrows maintain their Interlagos pace going into these races, it’s game over for Red Bull, feels Marko.
“If Hamilton is also so superior this weekend in Qatar, and then in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, we can write off the title,” said the Austrian. “I have never seen such a rocket engine from Mercedes,” he added. “We couldn’t hold Hamilton on the straights, even though he was driving with a rear wing set at a similar steep angle to Monaco.”
🗣 “Lewis and I were fighting for position on multiple occasions, I think it was hard racing but good racing and that’s how it should be.” @Max33Verstappen on his #BrazilGP podium 🏆🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/hOJljJq2v9
— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) November 14, 2021
“But only Hamilton has that speed, the other Mercedes drivers are no cause for concern for us.” he added.
Helmut Marko is also not ruling out a potential protest. Everyone on the grid was surprised at the W12’s pace. However, without any concrete proof as to what happened, it’s very difficult to make the decision to lodge a complaint.
“We are mainly concerned with two things, which we may also take up with the FIA for clarification,” says Marko. “But there will only be a protest if we have evidence that something is not compliant with the rules on Hamilton’s car.”