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Red Bull's advantage over other teams will 'melt away'

Red Bull's advantage over other teams will 'melt away'

The Formula One world champions made it look like their title defence would be easy at the first race of the season but they don't think so.

Red Bull Racing expect their advantage over the likes of Ferrari, Aston Martin and Mercedes to 'melt away' as the season goes on.

The Formula One season kicked off last weekend in Bahrain in familiar but somewhat worrying scenes, as Red Bull drove away to a pretty easy victory.

Having won the past two driver's championships, Max Verstappen opened his title defence with victory by nearly 12 seconds over teammate Sergio Perez.

Fernando Alonso rounded off the podium, 38 seconds behind Verstappen, with Carlos Sainz another 10 seconds down the road and Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes over 50 seconds behind the race winner, leading to some harsh words from the seven time champion.

With such a big gap in performance from them to everyone else in the pack, the expectation is the Christian Horner's team will easily win this year's title.

Last year they found it pretty easy going even with Ferrari being close to them so this season should be a cake walk, surely? Well not according to Red Bull themselves.

Team advisor Helmut Marko thinks the team's punishment, from breaking the budget limit in 2021, that sees them have a 10% reduction in aero development time for this year, will eventually catch up with them.

"We prepared ourselves optimally for the season," Marko told, "Once we knew that this penalty would be imposed, it was clear that, when we went into the wind tunnel, it had to be done in an efficient manner and each run with a clear plan.

"At the moment, we've managed to do all that. But, of course, as the season progresses and we run out of wind tunnel time, the others will still have that available and our lead will then melt away.

"That's why it's extremely important that we take the points with us now."

Verstappen and Perez were on the podium alongside Alonso on Sunday. Image: Alamy
Verstappen and Perez were on the podium alongside Alonso on Sunday. Image: Alamy

At the time some believed the punishment should have seen Verstappen get stripped of the 2021 title, which he won controversially from Hamilton.

However, instead it was just the reduction in development time compared to everyone else and a £7 million fine, but the former doesn't seem to have affected them yet.

George Russell reckoned after Bahrain that the Austrian team may go all season unbeaten, especially with his own team having to hold a team meeting in the wake of their performance, but Marko doesn't believe that will be the case.

"No. So this statement by Russell can perhaps be explained by the current frustration of the Bahrain race," he added.

"It was a race on a specific circuit where the surface is extremely rough, which means that tyre wear plays a very big role.

"Yes, we put in a good performance. But so much for winning all the races and having the world championship title in the bag. If it were that easy, it would be nice."

Their domination is certainly expected to last for the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix this weekend, even if their advisor doesn't think it will go all year.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Formula 1, Red Bull Racing, Max Verstappen