Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko says “Mercedes is doing incredibly fast laps in practice and also in the races”, but are not yet aware “where that lap time is coming from”.
At the Spanish Grand Prix Mercedes seemed to improve its pace quite dramatically, with Lewis Hamilton even being the fastest driver on track for a lot of the race, and George Russell being able to take the fight to Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
This led to Toto Wolff saying that, had Lewis not been involved in a collision with Kevin Magnussen at the beginning of the race, he could have fought for the win.
However, in Monaco, the team again seemed to not be able to challenge the top teams. Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko says the problem is that Mercedes is as of yet not aware where their improved performance is coming from.
“Mercedes is doing incredibly fast laps in practice and also in the races, both with Hamilton and Russell,” Marko told Formel1.de.
“Not continuously, so for us it’s difficult to interpret where that lap time is coming from. Listening closely to the Mercedes people, I don’t think they know either.
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“But the dangerous thing is the potential seems to be there. And once that can be called up over a race distance, then they’ll be right up there or right at the front.”
Asked if it’s possible that Mercedes is merely bluffing, and actually hiding a lot more performance, Marko said:
“No, it’s not a bluff. The bluff was where they had this weird engine advantage and last year the Hamilton engine – there they were bluffing hard. So, I don’t believe that.
“And it’s really incredibly hard to understand where this [car is] incredibly fast. They were the fastest in the field at [one] stage, but it doesn’t last long.
“What exactly changes there, why they can’t drive that continuously is just, thank God, still the problem, I would say,” the Austrian concluded.