Interview with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko

Red Bull
Interview with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko
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Let's start with Abu Dhabi. Fifth place on the grid, sixth overall. Are you disappointed?

M arko: We already knew that we would find it difficult to maintain the starting position. Vettel got through the field relatively quickly. Ricciardo didn't waste a long time opposing this. It wouldn't have helped. Our opponent was the Perez. But we were missing one lap to overtake him. We have once again seen that the faster car does not help you if you are so handicapped on the straight. Then you use completely different strategies than you actually want.

And at Kvyat?

Marko: He had all the problems there could be. He had to keep changing the settings of the motor, mode 3, mode 2, and so on. As a result, he lost three to four tenths per lap. He drove a very good race under the circumstances. And he kept his nerve. That shows his positive development.

Kvyat has more points than Ricciardo, who at least beat Vettel last year. How is that to be assessed?

Marko: Ricciardo was more unlucky in terms of technology. But he's still the more complete driver. Daniel is still in the top 5.

How satisfied are you with the Toro Rosso drivers?

Marko: You both exceeded all expectations. Whereby Sainz also had a lot more bad luck with the technology. But the most refreshing thing was certainly the overtaking maneuvers by Verstappen. Both are very quick. Maybe Verstappen is a bit more aggressive in a duel. He can do what Ricciardo also does. Attack out of nowhere.

The best Toro Rosso duo of all time?

Marko: Definitely.

With that you will have another luxury problem at the end of 2016: four very good drivers, but one has to give way. How do you solve that?

Marko: We will evaluate that when the time comes. A lot of time will pass.

Many people are behind Verstappenhere. Do they have a chance?

Marko: No. We always make multi-year contracts. It is interesting, however, that the people who classified the work of a 17-year-old as dangerous and irresponsible are suddenly after him.

About the season: Red Bull was runner-up in 2014 with three wins. This time there was no victory and only 4th place. How much does the result hurt?

Marko: It hurts a lot. Last year we were able to be there when Mercedes had problems. Like Ferrari now. But the fact that no progress was made on the engine side was a de facto step backwards. This shortcoming, that you always balance with minimal downforce, makes it almost impossible to do better.

The Red Bull didn't really hit it until Silverstone. What was the problem?

Marko: We found something on the car at Silverstone. After that, it was better than the previous year's model. Ricciardo had problems with the car in the first half of the season. He lacked confidence. Strangely enough, the Kvyat coped better with it.

Was the Toro Rosso better than the Red Bull at the start of the season?

Marko: Toro Rosso not only had the best drivers of all time, but also its best chassis. Up until Silverstone, the Toro Rosso was at least as good as the Red Bull, if not a bit faster on certain courses. It was a car that was instantly fast anytime, anywhere. At the beginning there were problems with tire wear. But that was then eliminated. Without the technical problems they would have ended up much further ahead.

You have been walking from engine manufacturer to engine manufacturer for three months and have been repeatedly turned away. How big is the frustration?

Marko: That shows that Formula 1 is currently wrong. Thankfully, both Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone woke up by putting the independent motor in the window, if nothing changes. It was incredibly frustrating to see that almost definitive promises were not kept. Or someone else intervened. We were just passengers in a tactical game. The positive thing for us is how scared we are if we came with the same engine.

How difficult was it to keep boss Dietrich Mateschitz happy ?

Marko: That was very difficult. We spend a lot of money on Formula 1. We have two teams, a Grand Prix, the promotion of young talent. Then the boss looks likeon the one hand, the audience's interest drops drastically and, on the other hand, we are presented in this way on the engine question. If there hadn't been any hope that there would be changes for the better in the engine and the chassis, then that was almost the end of the line.

But there are too two criticisms. One: Why is Red Bull parting with an engine partner without having a replacement?

Marko: The story is well known. We asked Mercedes in writing. Mr Wolff wrote back to us that the negotiations can only continue if we give Renault notice. With the argument that Renault and Mercedes maintain intensive business contacts on another level. We reacted naively to this answer. Only then did we stand there without an engine. Mercedes' promise was never realized.

Second criticism: Was it necessary to wipe Renault off in public?

Marko: I don't think we missed the mark there. We only criticized what was fact. Unfortunately, none of the promises and promises made by Renault have come true. There was also so much engine damage that we had to dramatically reduce the performance. Sometimes we had less performance this year than last year. And of course the disappointment was enormous. We wanted to finally change the management and structures accordingly. Now it looks like something is going to happen. But another year passed unused.

Formula 1 is thinking about a new engine concept. Do you feel that your criticism of the hybrid formula has been confirmed?

Marko: It is a bitter confirmation. We would have preferred it hadn't happened that way. But there are simply too many criteria that are not correct. In terms of cost caps and the number of teams that have to be supplied. There should have been a delivery requirement, not a maximum number that can be delivered. And this engine is the wrong one for Formula 1 in terms of complexity and costs.

The cheap engine is a threat to push through a new engine format. Is it enough to tune back the current engine?

Marko: It is in the interest of all Formula 1 fans that an engine should run around 1,000 PS comes that is controlled by the driver and not by a crowd of engineers who look in the background to make sure this work is working. It can only cost between 6 and 8 million euros and must have the appropriate sound. That is simply part of motorsport.

What can Red Bull do with youExpect a Renault engine next year?

Marko: That there is progress instead of regression. We also know that this gap cannot be made up in one winter. But we want the horsepower, drivability and reliability to be able to ride again properly.

Will you be able to motivate Adrian Newey again?

Marko: Adrian has worked a lot on the car this year, but not with 100% bite. He knew that no matter what we did, we wouldn't win. But now with the new chassis regulations he has tasted blood again. We have a sliding contract with him. Depending on his needs, he devotes his time to Formula 1 or other activities. At the moment it's 50 to 50 percent.

Will he not support his son in Formula 3 next year?

Marko: That was clarified. The Amersfort team had to deny that the new chief engineer is Adrian Newey.

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