Pierre Gasly, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

“Red Bull will win at least five races” – Marko

2019 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by and

Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko says the team will win more races in its first year with Honda than it did with Renault last season.

Marko also said he believes the team’s new car for the 2019 F1 season is already quicker than reigning champions Mercedes’ W10.

“We will win at least five races,” said Marko an interview with motorsport-magazin.com. Red Bull won four races last year in Shanghai, Monaco, the Red Bull Ring and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Marko added the team’s RB15 must be competitive across a broader range of circuits. The team has tended to be strongest at high-downforce venues in recent seasons.

Although Ferrari ended testing just three-thousandths of a second ahead of Mercedes, Marko believes the real gap between the two teams is bigger – and that they are split by Red Bull.

“Ferrari is favourite,” said Marko. “They were very fast, as though they had an additional week’s testing behind them.”

Marko said Pierre Gasly’s two crashes during the tests had set Red Bull back and limited their ability to test new parts ahead of next week’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Max Verstappen only managed 29 laps on the final day of testing due to the knock-on effects of Gasly’s heavy crash the day before.

Don't miss anything new from RaceFans

Follow RaceFans on social media:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2019 F1 season

Browse all 2019 F1 season articles

46 comments on ““Red Bull will win at least five races” – Marko”

  1. Surely Dr Marko doesn’t believe that RBR will win at Monaco again. He no longer has an Aussie in the team.
    4 Monaco wins. 3 Aussies, 1 German. I just don’t see anyone else with the cajones to win Monaco for Helmut ;)

    1. You know that even olivier panis won at Monaco… So..

      1. So Max’s horrific record of crashes at Monaco must really mean something then?…

      2. Panis was French, Gasly is French. It’s written in the stars.

    2. Yeah, I’m optimist about this year Red Bull and five or even six wins is reasonable target if Daniel is still there. With Daniil, maybe. Pierre already ruin the team development.

    3. What am I missing here?

      Clearly RedBull are a class outfit, but what, exactly, in pre season testing makes them think this?

      I didn’t follow testing too closely, but I saw nothing that suggested they were faster than Renault even.

      Someone help me out here.

      1. @nick101 Ok I’ll give it a go.

        For starters I think they are looking at what they were able to do against Mercedes and Ferrari with an underpowered and unreliable Renault Pu last year. They obviously had a pretty darn good car, Pu aside. And we saw that it was at the tracks that were more about downforce and less about hp that they shone. That’s no small feat against the might of Mercedes especially. We also saw them use STR as a test bed all last season, their function mainly being to R&D the Honda pu ahead of RBR using it this year. They obviously feel they learned a ton from that.

        So then this year we saw in testing that Honda appeared quite reliable, and their lap times were not near the bottom but nearer the top, whatever that actually means in reality. Yes we don’t know exactly what’s going on, but suffice it to say they did not appear slow nor unreliable. They being both STR and RBR.

        If we assume that all teams have strengthened themselves somewhat due to the majority of the rules being stable, but that Newey is the best at car design, it might be safe to say RBR will be at least as competitive comparatively as they were last year, chassis/aero wise, now that the teams have had to adapt to the new wings and the attempt to reduce outwashing. Newey is a veritable genius in this area.

        So on paper one might surmise that if RBR have done at least as good a job as anyone else chassis and aero wise, very possibly even better than them due to the Newey factor, and if they do actually have a better Pu than they had last year, that being one that is relatively closer to Mercedes and Ferrari, for Honda has had the most room for improvement, then that would explain their confidence.

        It’s certainly not about how RBR or STR appeared compared to Renault in testing. That is not what Marko is basing his claims on. Nor can anyone surmise much strictly from the testing results, although those who know how to read into everything that went on in testing do seem convinced Ferrari is ahead, in other words there are ways of extrapolating things from 8 days of testing once some trends are picked out, even if there has to be a bit of vagueness to it as well.

    4. Well, and let’s also not forget that last year, if not for Verstappen feeling Ocon should back away and Ocon wanting to show he can pass if he is faster, they would have won another race last season

  2. On the one hand this level of assuredness sounds really exciting, and I hope he is right, but as one who has been claiming RBR have not sounded cocky but rather just hopeful and optimistic, even I admit Marko should not be saying something like this. If it is true and they are actually between Ferrari in first (which also remains to be seen) and Mercedes in third (again to be seen) then that’s great for F1, and for me as a Max fan, but I am still expecting teething problems from RBR/Honda. Honda still has everything to prove in terms of competitive power along with the reliability to retain that power throughout a race and finish on podiums. I hope they prove it to be true but would rather they just take one race at a time than predict 5 wins before we even really know what everyone is bringing to Australia.

    1. Even with theeting problems there are several circuits they can take an engine penalty without serious loss of points.

    2. @robbie, it is a statement that does come across as being rather cocky, and it is statements like that which can really come back and bite you if you then cannot deliver on that.

      It is especially the case when Marko admits in that interview that Gasly’s crash and the subsequent problems in testing badly disrupted the team (with Marko admonishing Gasly quite a bit and saying “Gasly must show more discipline”), since they were unable to properly evaluate the new parts they wanted to test.

      Furthermore, he’s indicating that the team are slightly behind schedule with their Melbourne spec upgrade package and that they might end up missing their production deadlines.

      We also heard Marko say during the pre-season tests that there was a possible risk that the team could be overpredicting their competitiveness given the problems that some teams were having with cold graining, due to the comparatively low temperatures and lower tyre blanket temperatures during the tests.

      If that is the case, it suggests that the team might be starting the season slightly on the back foot from where they were planning on being, and he himself admits that they might be basing their assumptions on being ahead of Mercedes on potentially flawed data.

      Making such bold predictions now is something that runs a lot of risks of backfiring (particularly if Ferrari are quite as competitive as some think). Now, they may deliver on that, but it’s putting a lot of pressure on Honda now, since it is creating an expectation of a major increase in competitiveness – even just maintaining their current level of competitiveness, or having a minor boost in form, would look like a failure against Marko’s expectations.

      1. @anon Yeah that’s fair comment. So far though it seems it is only Marko that is making these bold predictions and I hope it remains that way and that the others on the team are more diplomatic, as imho they have been so far.

        I can see a way of justifying Marko’s comments if indeed the order is as he claims, and ‘if’ several other things too, but those are all unknowns right now, ar least to us in our armchairs. Maybe he knows something for sure.

        eg. One could argue that if they are still only as relatively powerful and reliable as they were last year with Renault, but now with Mercedes behind them (a huge leap to claim that) then sure ok if the Honda pu is now relatively better and puts them in second in the WCC, and they are better at more tracks than just high downforce, then sure on paper perhaps Marko can well argue his points. If they could win last year under those circumstances, and things point to them being relatively better off this season… But that’s a lot of ifs or assumptions that we need to actually see come true to buy Marko’s predictions. Everything is ‘on paper’ right now as far as I am concerned.

    3. On the one hand this level of assuredness sounds really exciting

      That boxing analogy looks more accurate every day. I’m waiting for one of them to shout we are the greatest.

      1. @johnrkh Lol well at least Marko might, we now know.

        1. Still hope they do well. Team to watch out for in my opinion is HAAS, not saying they are going to win. But I think they have a good package and if they can clean up the silly mistakes like pit stops and driver error they may surprise.

        2. @robbie Still hope they do well.
          Team to watch out for in my opinion is HAAS, not saying they are going to win. But I think they have a good package and if they can clean up the silly mistakes like pit stops and driver error they may surprise.

          1. @johnrkh True. The other semi-Ferrari Alfa Romeo looks potent too, no?

  3. Love or hate him – Marko us a straight shooter – would make for an exciting season if Mercedes start out 3rd fastest….

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      8th March 2019, 17:53

      Nevertheless he should be careful after Adrian “We’ll win our first race in F1” Reynard and “The cat is back”

    2. Now we can fight! :D

    3. A straight shooter is generally someone who tells the truth without sugar-coating it. Marko spends half his time lying and the other half playing politics.

      All he is, is a big mouth.

  4. I think for that to happen Max is going to need to clean up his game as I don’t think he’ll get the same pass he’s had whilst Red Bull haven’t been genuinely competitive.

    I’m hoping he does and it creates some awesome moments between him, Lewis, Seb etc but I just hope he doesn’t need to get lairy and rely on the (poor) stewarding to get those wins.

    1. Do you have an example of poor steward ing that resulted in a max win?

      1. Last year’s Austrian gp. He hit Raikkonen and was left unpunished.

        1. Lol. Kimi made a mistake in the second corner, pushed max on the grass after that. And made another mistake that gave max the opportunity to get next to him and tried to close the door.

        2. Yeah so it’s totally ok that Kimi pushed him onto the grass in a freaking straight but they should punish Verstappen for a slight contact with Raikkonen when Kimi basically turned into him while they were side by side. Nice logic dude.

  5. a shame they won’t ever kick him out of the team.
    i hope the other top guys remember this at the end of the year when Verstappen wins only Mexico and another one to mock him a little

    1. Mexico was a standout for the Renault engine with its larger turbo setup, I wouldn’t expect the same sort of difference in comparative performance from RBR at the circuit this year.

  6. I suspect most of the teams were “sandbagging” to some degree. When I look at the fastest lap times at the end of Test 2 – Day 4 posted on the F1 website, I see Max Verstappen’s Red Bull – Honda at Number 11, and Pierre Gasly isn’t in the top 13.
    If the Honda engine was more powerful than either the Ferrari or the Mercedes engine then I can’t see Max having the restraint to not put the RB15 into the Top Ten, and probably in the Top 5, and I’d expect to see Pierre Gasly in the Top 13.
    This leads me to suspect Marko’s comment is bearing on the optimistic.

  7. Win at least 5 races, so any thing less is a failure.

    1. Folk! What Marko said are based on the facts and data they got. New boy on toro roso can lap 1min16.6 that mean Max will lap around mid 15 on the Red bull, go for Red Bull Hondaa champion.

    2. @johnrkh As I said above even I am uncomfortable with this level of bravado at this point in time with Honda’s situation going back to their return to F1 in this hybrid era, and still having everything to prove. But I would say though that something like 3 or 4 wins, if that is even achievable for them, would be success not failure, but of course the risk Marko has taken is to put that number of 5 plus to the season as he has, of which he cannot possibly know how the season is going to go and how Mercedes and Ferrari are going to evolve throughout this season. That’s why they run all the races.

      But I do understand that you and others will call less than 5 failure, and that’s just natural from non-fans, but other than embarrassment on Marko’s part, it’s not like they get their toys taken away and don’t get to play anymore if they now don’t win 5 races this season. All they’ll have is some people snickering at them, but then some people do that to teams that are winning Championships or at least vying for them, when they don’t like those teams, or team orders, or a WDC level driver making a mistake. To me Marko has made a verbal mistake here, but it’s not like they won’t survive it. If they get branded failures for doing what they love and taking up the challenge and becoming filthy rich doing so, hey…they’ll live with that and live to fight another day.

      1. Rather see a team showing some Bravado and confidence than the endless Wolff speak.

    3. …and failure means they’ll bring back Kvyat.

  8. If this is true, Max and Lewis will spend a lot of time bumping into each other. Seb will take another “run and hide” championship.

    I do however suspect this is a big steaming pile of BS.

    1. I love to see Lewis back to his feisty racing mode again. Valtteri and Seb were major disappointment. I hoping Max and Charles had decent car to push that.

      1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
        9th March 2019, 8:46

        Don’t downgrade Seb. He isn’t as good as Lewis or Max in one on one, but he has pulled off some good overtakes over the years.

  9. Are those 5 wins going to be enough to offset the weekends when they take engine penalties???

    1. @rick1984 Yeah for sure. Five wins would be quite an achievement, and Max has said he can live with the odd engine blowup if in general they are competitive. It would be much harder to take if they were both slow and unreliable. If he (and PG) can fight for podiums that is the main thing, as long as they can finish races more often than not and be knocking on the top 3 doorstep while doing so.

      1. I find that hard to believe. Max wasn’t able to complete a weekend without having a dig at the PU even when it propelled the RBR to poles and wins, Renault has powered everyone of Max’s victories but I have never heard a good word out of his mouth about them. Given the way the RBR performed at the end of last year they may have been in a much better position this year to actually fight for the championship, instead they’re settling for another development year. Anyway not long now and we’ll be able to see actual on track performance over the course of a Grand Prix weekend, qualifying in Melbourne will go a long way to showing where the chips lay.

  10. Love the confidence and ballsy claims. Much better than the caution and praising of rivals being the favourites spouted by Ferrari and Mercedes.

  11. Next, we may have Alfa, Renault, McLaren etc saying they’re in front of Mercedes… Just saying~~~

  12. Well then Red Bull better win the first five races, because after that is traditionally where Honda’s annual engine allocation runs out and grid penalties kick in.

  13. Whoa!!! I think Red Bull Honda are too over-rated. I’m not saying they will not win any races, I think it will just not be as good as people think. If you looked at Toro Rosso compared from 2017 and ’18 (in ’17 they used Renault!), they dropped from seventh down to ninth. I think that overall though, the Honda is equal, if not slightly better, then Renault, but less resistant to failure.

  14. You all know that Max has the record for winning the most races without ever having a pole? Should the Honda proof to be compatible in HP then Max will win the championship this year. Testing proved already it’s reliability, so if the speed is there then Max will put them all to the test.
    Best driver in the rain, best overtaker, best defender, best tyre manager, no fear – ballz out driving every time anytime. Now add in speed and you can add best qualifier this year. So ladies and odd gentleman place your bets on my man Maximus san.

  15. How are we feeling about this prediction now? Two wins already, with good chances coming at Singapore, Mexico, and Budapest. Throw in a chance of rain in Brazil and could we have six wins for RBRH this year?

Comments are closed.