Dr. Helmut Marko has claimed that the constant accusations of cheating from Red Bull Racing's rivals are merely a smokescreen to shield their embarrassment at being beaten by 'a private team' rather than a car manufacturer.
In the hands of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, the Adrian Newey-penned Red Bull Racing RB6 has secured pole position for all-bar-one of the 13 grands prix to-date in F1 2010 – and so dominant has been the car's pace on occasion, that it has been subjected to increasingly stringent tests by the FIA, seemingly at the behest of suspicious competitors.
That it has passed all those tests – of which Marko quips he has now 'lost count' – has in truth done little to quell the whispers inside the paddock, with the finger-pointing continuing. However, the cries of illegality are as much the product of larger, richer and more established teams' recognition of their own underperformance, the Austrian asserts, as they are a genuine belief of technical foul play.
“It is not just our success,” Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz's right-hand man and motorsport advisor told the Kleine Zeitung
newspaper. “We have at most the third-biggest budget in F1. We are a private team, not a car manufacturer, and that hurts them even more.
“It is continually suspected that our cars are not according to the rules. If we put in the same amount of energy on watching what the other teams are doing as some of the others do, then our car would not be as fast. This is just part of the psychological warfare. We can only take it in our stride.”
Whilst acknowledging that as the campaign races towards its conclusion and the battle for glory intensifies amongst the title contenders, 'it will be crucial to have no failures', Marko underlines that RBR's goal is to 'maintain this same level for the next five years'.
In order to do so, the former grand prix ace well recognises the requirement for the team to keep its staff happy – but then, he reflects, it is the 'unique' working environment at Milton Keynes that has played one of the key roles in the energy drinks-backed outfit's rapid progression and triumphs to-date.
“All of our top talent have long-term commitments, but they've all had other offers,” the 67-year-old conceded. “Adrian could earn more money somewhere else, but it is with us that he can really work freely. Our philosophy suits him best, the spirit in our team is unique and we are all aimed in the same direction.”