Red Bull team advisor Helmut Marko refuted any claims that Ferrari have a faster car this season while admitting that Red Bull may have been “a little behind” during qualifying sessions. He, however, confessed that he does not believe pole positions are as significant in this generation of F1 as they previously may have been as a result of the new 2022 regulations that allow for easier overtaking and following.
Speaking to Motorsport, the Austrian claimed that he does not believe Ferrari have had greater pace than Red Bull this season. Hey said:
“I don’t see it that way. With the exception of Barcelona, we have always been equal to Ferrari this season. The shape of the day often determined who was ultimately in front, regardless of strategic or technical issues. We have had far fewer of those. In one lap we might be a little behind. Leclerc has about as many pole positions as we have victories, but a pole doesn’t mean everything. It is also no longer crucial on circuits where you can overtake.”
Admitting that the same may not apply to street circuits such as Monaco or Marina Bay, he added:
“In Monte Carlo or Singapore it’s a different story, but the important thing is that you can keep up with the pace in the race without blowing your tires. I certainly don’t agree: in Le Castellet, Max was faster in the race. If you can stay within a second for ten laps, it shows that you are the faster. In that race, we had the faster car. It is balanced throughout the season. It comes down to the form of the day and updates. They always work for one or two races, but also don’t cause significant power shifts.”
Red Bull’s Helmut Marko explains the ‘Helmut Round’
Speaking about the importance of having a simulator when it comes to recruiting junior drivers and judging performance, Marko mentioned a one-lap qualifying round, known as the ‘Helmut Round’, that all members of the Red Bull juniors have to compete in.
“I’m looking forward to racing in Miami, I’ve driven the track on the simulator and we’ve practiced and prepared as much as we can without visiting the track in real life.”#MiamiGP | @Max33Verstappen
Speaking to Motorsport, the 79-year-old said:
“The simulator is an excellent tool and is constantly being developed, but you drive it alone. Our juniors have to complete a qualifying round in the simulator to determine their position. We call that the ‘Helmut Round’. One does it better, the other does it less.” “You don’t have any pressure in the simulator either. Sometimes it is also something mental. There are drivers who are insanely fast but are not good at qualifying. Perez is such a person. That has been the case throughout his career.”
Apparently, this process helps the team determine each driver’s relative level of performance.
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