‘Can make a flying start in 2022’

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Red Bull CEO Helmut Marko thinks that defending champion Max Verstappen can make a flying start in 2022, precisely because the 2022 cars are completely new and – expected – more difficult to drive.

The 2022 cars are perfect for Verstappen, according to Marko, because: “Max never needs a run-up time to get used to it. He is always fast right away,” the Austrian quotes in an interview with Auto, Motor und Sport. Marko also has good news for Verstappen: Red Bull is on schedule with the RB18 for next season. “At least I haven’t heard anything else.”

Marko can also be clear about the goal for next season. “That is to become world champion again.” In 2021, Verstappen did that by beating Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton. In principle, Marko assumes that this will again be the duel of 2022. “Although with such a major rule change, you never know for sure.” But still: Mercedes and Red Bull have all the ingredients, according to Marko, to be the teams to beat again.

Also read: Marko: ‘Verstappen is the best driver I’ve worked with’

In addition, the Red Bull CEO continues, there is “currently no other driver who can keep up with Hamilton and Verstappen”. Of course, the crux remains that Red Bull can provide Verstappen with a car with title potential again. For that reason, all sails are pulled at the factory in Milton Keynes and work is carried out ’round the clock’. And not only there: Honda is also working hard in Sakura, Japan, on the last engine that will make it for Red Bull.

The biggest challenge in the motor area is the switch to E10 petrol. According to Auto, Motor und Sport – and Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto – this switch is accompanied by a loss of about twenty horsepower. “Honda is working hard to adapt the engine,” explains Marko. “I hear positive messages, although the performance not yet at the level of 2021. In addition, we have to see what everything looks like in the races anyway.”

Also read: Marko: “Verstappen is much calmer, he used to explode sometimes”

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