Helmut Marko, Red Bull advisor, believes that his team is among the frontrunners in the wake of Formula 1 Barcelona testing.
Red Bull completed a decent test in Barcelona last week, their radical RB18 completing 1673 km of running, or 358 laps around the Spanish track. The figures would have been even more had the team not faced a gearbox issue on their second day of running.
Despite Mercedes being the team to set the fastest time over the three-day test, Marko told Motorsport-Magazin.com: “We believe that we are among the front runners.
“Ferrari seems to be strong and McLaren is also there,” the Austrian added, strangely not mentioning Mercedes.
The test was the first chance to see the behaviour of the new cars – built to the ground-effect downforce-generating philosophy, with new 18″ tyres – for the first time outside the virtual world of simulators, CFD’s, and wind tunnels, the first chance for the teams to see their designs operating in the real world.
Team boss Christian Horner spoke to RacingNews365.com about the test and said of the behaviour of the new tyres: “I think that, obviously, we’re operating in temperatures that we won’t see too much of, maybe other than Silverstone, throughout the year, so it’s very much a learning curve with these tyres.”
More to come from the new F1 cars
The Briton, however, believes that the package they produces promises more performance, claiming: “Again, I think there’s more to come.
“We’re just scratching the surface of the potential of these cars, so I think you’ll see another step in Bahrain. I think there’ll be quite a steep curve [with the] new [regulations],” the 48-year-old added.
Horner predicted a lap time drop of 1.5 to 2 seconds over the course of the season, as teams fine tune and better understand their 2022 machinery.
“I think that every week we’re finding more performance, and you’ve got to think there’s going to be close to one second and a half to two seconds with the development during the course of the year.
Reflecting on Red Bull’s Barcelona testing session, Horner revealed: “It’s been good, positive. I think Max has enjoyed driving the car. He’s been complimentary about it.
“Checo’s feedback has been very consistent with Max’s, so that’s always an encouraging sign,” he concluded.