With his sixth victory of the 2022 Formula 1 season in Canada, Max Verstappen has taken a big step towards defending his title. The Dutchman is now 46 points ahead of his team-mate and closest pursuer, Sergio Pérez. Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is already 49 points short.
Red Bull does not want to feel safe yet, because after three races of the season, Verstappen himself was 46 points behind the then world championship leader Leclerc, which shows how quickly the tide can turn. “You just have to finish and avoid the reliability problems,” Red Bull Motorsport advisor Helmut Marko told the Dutch edition of “Motorsport.com.”
“We’re on an incredible run, because normally we were always behind in the first half of the season and had to catch up, but now we’re dominating. You have to say: If you win seven of the first nine races, that’s dominance,” said Marko.
Marko indicates: RB18 is still five kilograms too heavy
In addition, the end of the road in terms of performance is far from being reached for Red Bull. “We always have something up our sleeves and beyond that we are not yet at the minimum weight of the FIA. In comparison, Ferrari is at the limit, but we are not yet,” explains Marko.
When asked whether it was four to five kilograms, the motorsport consultant just nodded. So Red Bull would still have potential of about one and a half tenths converted with weight savings, while Ferrari seems to have already reached the limit.
Marko expects Mercedes at Silverstone
Despite the current course of form, Marko remains cautious with his forecast for the upcoming race at Silverstone: “The asphalt is very slippery there, which is why I think Mercedes will be even closer to us.”
“With Ferrari, it depends a lot on how each team is doing on the day. How the cars and the tires fit together can make a big difference from one weekend to the next.”
Marko: “We got help from Ferrari”
Marko doesn’t want to be too optimistic just yet, because Red Bull also knows that the circumstances in the past races have been favorable to them. “We also said beforehand that Baku and Montreal should be our tracks. Tracks with long straights and not so many tight corners,” he says.
“We got the maximum out of it and on top of that we won the four races before. Yes, we got some help from Ferrari but there’s still a long way to go.”
“Now we’re 46 points ahead, but last year we were 33 points ahead of Silverstone. And bang, after Budapest that advantage was completely gone. So we still have to work very hard because we’ve only completed nine of 22 races.”