“Mercedes Will Still Be The Benchmark” – Marko Dismisses 3 Rival F1 Teams From Title Fight With Red Bull

Published 01/23/2021, 2:15 AM EST
Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race Pool via REUTERS/Giuseppe Cacace


The 2021 F1 season is fast approaching and fans cannot contain their excitement to witness the resumption of fast-paced racing. While there will be many things to look out for this year, an underlying theme of the season would see Mercedes and Red Bull Racing go head-to-head for the Constructors’ title.

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Mercedes comfortably won the trophy last season, with both Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas contributing to their cause. However, it seems like the reigning champions could face a tough challenge from their Austrian-licensed counterparts this year.

Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko certainly believes that Mercedes continue to remain the benchmark for all F1 teams. He also thinks that both Ferrari and Aston Martin will be ‘question marks.’

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Have to be able to put Mercedes under pressure from first race, says Marko

Speaking in an interview, Marko stated, “In 2021 Mercedes will still be the benchmark. We have to be able to put them under pressure from the first race.” (translated via Google Translate)

“McLaren will be even more powerful thanks to the Mercedes engines. Ferrari and Aston Martin will be question marks.”

NUERBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 11: Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner and Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko talk on the grid before the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Last year, McLaren and Aston Martin both looked like genuine midfield challengers rather than title contenders. In that regard, it remains to be seen whether these outfits can build on their progress and challenge Mercedes and Red Bull upfront.

Red Bull will intend to clinch their first Constructors’ title since 2013

Marko continued in his analysis, “Ferrari because we don’t yet know how good their new engine will be. Aston Martin because we don’t know how far the collaboration with Mercedes will go. Basically, however, I believe that none of the three can be dangerous to us.”

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Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen passes the chequered flag to win the race Pool via REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Last season, Red Bull suffered a variety of problems that kept them out from pursuing a serious title challenge.

This time around, they have a renewed Honda power unit which could add a little more speed. In addition to that, they have a fearsome and highly competent driver pairing – Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen.

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Although Mercedes will still be the team to beat, Red Bull would certainly be the closest to them among other teams. Undoubtedly, it would be interesting to see how both teams approach their respective seasons and we can only hope that a title battle ensues in 2021.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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