Helmut Marko hands Lewis Hamilton boost for 2023 title fight

Red Bull were fairly unopposed in 2023 on their way to collecting both titles in the first year of the new regulations.

Red Bull could not have wished for a better start to the new era of Formula 1, as every team entered the season wondering if their design was one of the best on the grid.

The RB-18 was dominant and allowed Max Verstappen to storm to a record-shattering 15 race wins over the course of the season as he picked up his second consecutive world championship.

In the first couple of rounds of the 2022 season it looked as if Ferrari would be the team to beat, as Charles Leclerc put on a show and led the Scuderia to race wins with what seemed to be the quickest car.

Reliability issues and strategic blunders saw Ferrari fall away from Red Bull and almost into the grasp of Mercedes, who only won a single race in 2022 after a disastrous struggle with porpoising and a lack of pace.

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Despite Ferrari enjoying a much better year that Mercedes last season, Red Bull’s chief advisor Helmut Marko has suggested that the Silver Arrows will be his team’s biggest competition in 2023.

“I would say that we should fear Mercedes more,” said the Austrian.

“Mainly because they have an advantage over Ferrari in terms of strategy and reliability.”

Marko has also suggested that Red Bull will not be able to dominate the new era of Formula 1 as Mercedes did over the past decade, as he does not believe that they are far enough ahead of their rivals to do so.

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“Our situation is certainly not like that of Mercedes at the beginning of the hybrid era,” he suggested.

“We don’t have an immense lead with the engine right now. So that is very different. Mercedes had at least 50bhp margin over all the others back then.

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“So I think it will definitely be much closer next season.”

Red Bull will also have to deal with their reduction in testing time next season as punishment for breaching the 2021 cost cap, which will come as music to the ears of Mercedes, who were already set for a significant advantage in testing time after finishing third in the championship.

Lewis Hamilton has claimed that he is as hungry as ever to win a record breaking eighth world title before he retires, meaning that Max Verstappen will face a much sterner challenge for his crown this year as his rivals improve.