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Marko admits Red Bull's uncertain path to 2024 victory

Marko admits Red Bull's uncertain path to 2024 victory
© Reuters
The once-dominant Red Bull team finds the gap with their 2024 competitors gradually narrowing.

The once-dominant Red Bull team finds the gap with their 2024 competitors gradually narrowing.

Despite this, Max Verstappen managed to increase his championship lead in Montreal. However, it was Mercedes' George Russell who claimed the pole position, while Verstappen only just secured victory over McLaren's Lando Norris.

Red Bull F1 consultant, Dr. Helmut Marko, acknowledges that clinching the 2024 titles is no longer a sure thing. "It won't be a clear story for us anymore because our car and our simulator have certain weaknesses," he told the Osterreich newspaper. "But we are working hard to fix that."

He also noted the lack of consistency among their competitors as a positive, stating, "The good thing for us is that the others cannot achieve consistency, so if everything goes normally for us, Max will be ahead."

Regarding the simulator's inaccuracies, Marko explained, "It doesn't simulate the curbs properly. It's technically up to date, it just isn't properly interpreting."

Following a particularly disappointing showing in Monaco, Red Bull's engineering team made adjustments to the car's setup for Montreal, which Marko credits to the "Max factor" for their return to winning ways. "We were totally wrong with the setup (in Monaco) and drove much too stiffly. We managed that better in Montreal," he said.

Meanwhile, teams like Ferrari, McLaren, and even Mercedes are now seen as possible contenders for the remainder of the season's races. "Let's see," Marko stated. "The next three races will show how good the cars really are."

He highlighted the varying performances post-Barcelona last year, pointing out, "But Mercedes was strong last year in Barcelona and then they weren't strong anymore after that. So after Spielberg and Silverstone - two more real race tracks - we'll know then where we really stand."

James Allison, the technical boss at Mercedes, conceded that their recent success might be partly due to favorable conditions rather than a significant leap in capability. The circuit "may have flattered us a little," he suggested.

Philipp Eng, an Austrian racing driver and analyst for Servus TV, mentioned that Montreal's new track surface particularly benefited Red Bull's car setup. "They have a car that works when it can be driven very low to the ground," he commented. "Canada has been resurfaced, so they were able to exploit the advantage."

He also observed, "It's very close together now, and McLaren and Mercedes have caught up a lot," but still believes, "But Red Bull and Max is still the best package."

In other developments, following a disappointing performance in Canada, Ferrari is reportedly advancing its schedule for a significant car update. According to Sky Italia, a batch of upgrades initially set for Silverstone, which could improve performance by about two-tenths, may now debut in Barcelona instead.

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Charles Leclerc after winning Monaco Grand Prix on May 26, 2024.
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