Belgian GP: Marko Hints at More Power to Come From Red Bull F1 as Wolff Sweats

Published 08/28/2021, 5:11 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 27, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


With the conclusion of the summer break, Formula 1 made its return this weekend at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit for the Belgian GP. And the dogfight for the championship between Mercedes and Red Bull continues.

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During FP2, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen topped the timesheets with the Mercedes duo behind him. The Dutchman was just 0.41 seconds ahead of second-placed Valtteri Bottas, which shows how close the fight for the title will be this year.

The two archrivals opted for different strategies; while Mercedes went with a high-downforce setup and dominated the straights, the Milton-Keynes outfit prevailed in the middle sector. Silver Arrows posted their fastest laps with medium compound tires, and Red Bull, soft.

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Meanwhile, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko claims they still yet to turn up their Honda power unit after topping the FP2 session with just four-tenths of a second ahead of Mercedes.

Watch Story: From Shocking Lewis Hamilton Crash to Ferrari Pit Stop Blunder: Most Sensational Moments in Bahrain GP History

We don’t know what Mercedes is up to: Helmut Marko

As quoted by the Auto Motor Und Sport, when asked about Red Bull’s overall performance of Friday, Helmut Marko said, “I think we turned the engine up less than Mercedes.”

“There is still half a second in the engine. But we don’t know what Mercedes is still up to, because they sometimes do more, sometimes drove with less power.” (Translated via Google Translate)

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 18, 2021 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during the race REUTERS/Peter Cziborra

Meanwhile, Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, fears the Milton Keynes-based team have more power in their engine.

“I’m afraid that Honda has a bit more power up its sleeve than we do. About one to two tenths,” said Toto Wolff.

Red Bull with no extra power units as penalty looms

With half a season remaining, Red Bull are left with no spare power units. Title contender Max Verstappen is already using his third power unit, having lost his second after colliding with his arch-rival, Lewis Hamilton, on the opening lap at the British Grand Prix. Sergio Perez, on the otherb hand, lost his second one in the opening lap of the Hungarian GP in the multi-car collision caused by Valtteri Bottas.

As such, Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, reckons there is “very little” chance of Red Bull escaping this season with no engine penalties.

“Very little, I’m afraid and that is hugely frustrating for Honda as it’s not due to reliability, it’s due to accidents that we haven’t caused,” said Horner in an interview with F1.

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“So they are feeling the brunt of this, as we are on the chassis side and it’s not to be underestimated on the cost cap side.”

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – JULY 14: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB15 and Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF90 crash during the F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 14, 2019 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

“We’ve had some hugely bad luck in the last couple of races. It’s been pretty brutal in parts, in damage, in engines. But you know we’ll brush ourselves down and we’ll come out fighting.”

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Read More: REVEALED: McLaren F1’s Brilliant New Initiative to Reduce Their Carbon Footprint at Belgian GP

Who will win the championship this year, Mercedes or Red Bull? What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

253 articles

Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.

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