Red Bull Chief Makes Bold Claim About McLaren Pace in F1 Tests

Published 02/28/2022, 12:50 PM EST
Helmut Marko of RedBull Racing arrived in to the paddock before qualifying session of last race of the year in Yes Marina Circuit, Yes Island, Abu Dhabi, Uniter Arab Emirates, 11 December 2021 (Photo by Andrea Diodato/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Helmut Marko has recently opened up on McLaren Racing. The Red Bull top executive has talked about one of their main rivals this season. McLaren, in their test runs, were seen performing better than last season. In light of this, Marko is of the opinion that McLaren pulled this off because they needed sponsors.

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Formula 1 hosted sets of test run across three days in Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. During these runs, the new cars for the new season went through some shakedown sessions. McLaren, also being a part of these tests, impressed everyone quite a bit. The pecking order looked bright for the British team as they took everyone by surprise.

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The Papaya team topped the timesheets on the first day of the 3-day pre-season testing. When asked about McLaren’s shakedown performance, in an interview with Auto Motor und Sport, Helmut Marko conveyed, “McLaren is after sponsors.” (Quote translated using Google Translate)
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The first two days have been very good for the Woking-based team. Lando was the fastest among all the drivers on day 1. However, being fastest in test runs doesn’t signify one’s true potential. Not every team shows their greatest power in these shakedowns.
Talking about the sponsorship comment from Marko, one has to take note that McLaren might have been running on low fuel to take out the fastest time on the sheet. All in all, it’s too early to judge McLaren’s performance from this.
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain – February 23, 2022 McLaren’s Lando Norris during testing REUTERS/Albert Gea

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Once a pretty decent force in F1, McLaren has now shifted into the second tier of competitiveness. From fewer race wins to fewer podium places, the performance of the Papaya team has drastically changed over the years. Once a top team, now fights for third place with another renowned F1 team, Ferrari.
McLaren finished at P4 last season after a decent fight with Ferrari. They were behind the Italian giants by 48.5 points. Although, with the new season on the brink, the team from Britain is hopeful for a comeback this season and will make a go against the top teams like Mercedes and Red Bull.

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What are your thoughts? Who do you think will be leading the 2022 grid? Let us know in the comment below.

Watch This Story: Lewis Hamilton quickest on final day.

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Sabyasachi Biswas

776 articles

Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. He has completed his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Sabyasachi is an ardent Red Bull and Max Verstappen fan and has been following the sport for over a decade now.

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