Marko: Red Bull drivers must be patient
20 April 2017 – Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko says Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen must be patient as the team pushes on to catch current pace-setters Mercedes and Ferrari.
Red Bull has entered Formula 1's new era as the third fastest team, unable to challenge early leaders Ferrari and Mercedes, but a sizeable chunk clear of the chasing pack.
Marko says Red Bull's chassis will be "revamped" for the start of the European season in Spain, with engine partner Renault also planning a significant upgrade for Canada.
He told the official F1 website: "We have two problems: Renault had some reliability issues, which slowed them down in the development; and we didn't deliver the chassis that we should have.
"But we are working day and night to pick up our shortcomings.
"We are pretty optimistic that we will make a significant step forward in Barcelona where a big change of parts is coming, so sometimes patience is the best virtue a driver can have!"
Marko also pointed out: "When we fought for the championship with Sebastian [Vettel] against Alonso [in 2012] we were 42 points behind still after the summer break – and won!
"We are the masters of [playing] 'catch-up'! (Laughs)"
Prior to the upgrades, Marko insists that Red Bull has been making progress.
"Let me get our pace history straight: in Australia we were 1.8 seconds behind [the leaders], in China it was 1.3 seconds and in Bahrain something in the range of nine-tenths," he added.
"So we are improving and step-by-step closing the gap, but it is, of course, not enough.
"And looking at qualifying where the cars show their sheer speed, we know that Mercedes has a qualification mode. And to a certain extent also Ferrari, and that helps them a lot.
"By constantly closing the gap to them I would say that the direction we are moving in is promising.
"And as you don't get any points in qualifying, it is good news that in the race we are usually stronger if problems don't stop us like on Sunday when Max suffered a brake issue."
Red Bull has 47 points after the first three rounds of the season, 52 behind Mercedes, which won in China, and a further three down on Ferrari, which won in Australia and Bahrain.