Helmut Marko believes Red Bull are up against it in their bid to beat Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton to the Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles.
Red Bull have admitted they are worried that the majority of the races left in the current season will favour their Mercedes rivals. The teams are locked in a tense battle for the constructor’s championship with 36 points separating them with just six races remaining.
Meanwhile, in the drivers’ title battle, their main man Max Verstappen leads Lewis Hamilton by six points after comfortably claiming second place last time out at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Hamilton was forced to settle for fifth in Istanbul, after aborting a plan to go through the whole race without changing tyres late on and giving places to Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc.
Mercedes still outscored their Red Bull rivals, though, with 36 points from Valtteri Bottas’ win and fastest lap and Hamilton’s fifth-placed finish, compared to the 33-point combination from Verstappen and Perez in second and third.
That failure to capitalise on a rare non-podium for Hamilton means Red Bull are starting to be cut adrift by their Mercedes rivals, with only half-a-dozen races left to make up the deficit.
Advisor Helmut Marko knows full well that their task is a difficult one, and according to the Austrian it is made even harder because four of those six remaining races favour the Mercedes W12 over their RB16B.
“At the moment I only see two races where we have advantages because of the altitude – Mexico and Sao Paulo,” he told F1 Insider.
“At the other four circuits, Mercedes is the favourite at the moment.”
Red Bull’s Honda power unit is generally able to cope better with the thinner air at higher altitudes compared to the Mercedes engine.
The upcoming races in Mexico and Brazil are the two tracks on the calendar highest above sea level, but the same cannot be said for the other races in the USA, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Team principal Christian Horner has also talked up the advantage the higher altitude at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and at Interlagos will give them after what may be a tough outing at the Circuit of the Americas.
“Arguably [Istanbul] has been Mercedes’ strongest circuit that we’ve seen so far this season so to have two cars on the. “Brinkwire Summary News”.