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Marko: Red Bull and Ferrari neck-and-neck

The scrap for pre-season supremacy in F1 2011 is too close to call between Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, contends Helmut Marko, whilst McLaren 'has the potential to catch up' and 'Mercedes and Renault are not quite at the level of the top three'
The pre-season battle for supremacy in F1 2011 is currently too close to call between reigning double world champions Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, reckons Dr. Helmut Marko, whilst McLaren-Mercedes 'has the potential to catch up' before the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne at the end of the month.

The general paddock consensus following the three group tests at Valencia, Jerez and Barcelona thus far is that Red Bull again has the edge on outright pace, Ferrari's joker is its supreme consistency and McLaren has some work to do, both in terms of performance and reliability.

Lotus Renault GP is emerging as a dark horse, whilst Mercedes Grand Prix is improving following a distinctly low-key debut with its new MGP W02. Marko, however, contends that RBR and Ferrari remain the teams to beat, even if you could not put a cigarette paper in-between them at the moment.

“Red Bull and Ferrari are at eye-level,” the energy drinks-backed outfit's controversial motorsport advisor told Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, “and McLaren has the potential to catch up before the start of the season. Mercedes and Renault are not quite at the level of the top three.”

Whilst double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso reckons his former team Renault 'are showing they are a lot more competitive than they were last year' with the innovative R31, grand prix returnee Nick Heidfeld – who paced the way on his testing debut for the Enstone-based concern in Valencia last month – is more cautious, stressing that 'there are still some teams ahead of us, especially Red Bull'.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.02.2011 - Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
18.02.2011- Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
21.02.2011- Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
18.02.2011- Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
20.02.2011- Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7
Friday Practice 1, Helmut Marko (AUT), Red Bull Racing, Red Bull Advisor and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Helmut Marko - Red Bull Racing
Helmut Marko (AUT), Red Bull`s Motorsport Consultant, British F1, Silverstone, 4-6th, July, 2008
Christian Horner and Helmut Marko of Red Bull Racing watch the times at the Monaco Grand Prix
Sebastien Ogier, Red Bull, RB7, F1 test [Credit: Red Bull Content Pool]
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF70H

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Adie. - Unregistered

March 01, 2011 2:49 PM

DTS,Marko has a false eye required when a stone blinded him whilst driving in an F1 race.If you are going to ridicule someone,please be aware of any disabilities they may have first!


March 03, 2011 12:52 AM

@Adie, please stop being the moral crusader! I did not "become abusive against his disability". I made an observation, which I thought was purely because of the camera angle and light. That in turn led in well to my assumption that the bloke is quite strange. You can make of this all you like. You're obviously another moral crusader who strings up anyone who makes the slightest politically incorrect statement. GET A LIFE MATE. It doesn't concern me that you don't like me, however I can't stand for people who make mountains out of molehills. I apologised for what I said, I stated I didn't know he had a false eye. It was all tongue in cheek (oops am I allowed to say that?) So just go away now and contemplate before you respond with more drivel.

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