Helmut Marko has shaken up Toto Wolff’s claims that Red Bull are the favorites to win this year’s titles, saying the Mercedes boss is trying to “create tension with words”.
Although Mercedes have won the last seven championship pairs, a new Formula One record, Red Bull is the last team to win the Grand Prix with Max Verstappen’s triumph at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Dutchman was in his class, taking the checkered flag 15 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas.
Now, with a new, and potentially stronger, teammate in Sergio Perez, Wolff reckons Red Bull can fight for both titles.
He told Speedweek: “Red Bull Racing actually had the fastest car at the end of last year, so the team is in the circle of favorites in 2021, especially in the constructors’ championship, with drivers of this caliber.
“I see Red Bull Racing as a double challenge, both in both World Championship categories, riders and teams.”
Marko, however, downplayed that statement that Wolff is trying to create a bit of drama when everyone knows that Mercedes will be the one to win.
“There’s no driving right now, so you have to create tension with words,” a Red Bull adviser told F1-Insider.com.
“We hope to be among the first, but Mercedes is the inevitable favorite. They have won all the titles since the 2014 hybrid era. “
Mercedes was again untouchable last season with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas first and second in the championship and third Verstappen. He had a 133-point advantage over Hamilton’s winning title.
This year, the team will set up Sergio Perez along with Verstappen and Wolff, who have previously said they believe the Mexican driver will be key to the Red Bull challenge.
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As for Wolff’s comments that Aston Martin could conduct a “reality check” as the team takes on the pressure of racing under the name Aston Martin, Mark returned to Mercedes ’rosy argument last year.
“And as for the Aston Martin, I can’t imagine that the Aston Martin has a completely different rear end than the Mercedes,” he said. “He taught us that in the past.”
Red Bull will unveil its 2021 challenger, the RB16B, online on Tuesday, and Mercedes will unveil its car a week later.
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