Red Bull chief makes ‘flawless’ demand to beat Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

F1: Red Bull's Verstappen gets in shape for new season

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Red Bull motorsport boss and adviser Helmut Marko believes they have everything in their locker to beat Mercedes this season, but they must act flawlessly to do so.

The Red Bull of Max Verstappen dominated the opening race weekend of the season, and was fastest during every single session, however they missed out on victory after an epic battle with Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the race.

Red Bull’s chief engineer Paul Monaghan said the disappointment in the garage was palpable after the race, however now the dust has settled, all eyes are set on round two at the historic track Imola – where Red Bull will be hungry for their first win of the season, in what looks to be the fastest car on track.

“I think with the package we have, a very competitive engine, a chassis that reacts well to everything, we will be on par with Mercedes again,” said Marko to Formel1.de.

However, he warned: “You can only succeed with Mercedes if you act flawlessly. Everything has to be right.

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“That is what we concentrate on. We cannot influence what the others do, so we have to develop [the car] and turn it off. We have [our] fate in our own hands.

“I said at the beginning of the season that it was the most difficult season for us since we started in Formula One.

“On the one hand the ‘cost cap’, which of course hits us, and at the same time we see a chance at the world championship.

“That means we have to do everything we can to win this world championship – without neglecting 2022.

“We have to work in parallel [with their 2022 goals], and it is now a risk to proceed between the two projects in a way that both will be successful.”

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And despite the win, even Mercedes admitted they have work to do ahead of round two, with Hamilton saying this could be one of the toughest seasons yet.

The seven-time world champion is chasing down an eighth world title in the sport, something that would put him ahead of Michael Schumacher in the record books.

“I don’t recall how close the other seasons were exactly, but I mean this has got to have started off as one of the toughest,” Hamilton said.

“I think Red Bull, the pace is incredibly strong as you can see. We can’t match them in qualifying right now, that’s a big step for us.

“I thought we could get closer within the race, but that was a little bit too close for my liking.

“The thing is we just don’t know how much better they will be in other places we go to, or how much worse, maybe our car is better in another place then it is here, or maybe it’s worse – we will find out.

“But we’re going to work as hard as we can to try and stay close in this battle, and I hope for many more of these sorts of races with Max and Valtteri [Bottas].

“It’s a long way to go, 22 races. Holy crap – I’ll be grey by the end of it.”

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