Helmut Marko makes concerning admission about Aston Martin

Red Bull locked out the front row during qualifying, with Max Verstappen taking pole position ahead of Sergio Perez.

Heading into qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Red Bull would have been worried about Ferrari, Aston Martin and maybe even Mercedes, with no one quite knowing the true pace of every team following testing and practice.

To Red Bull’s delight however, they saw their drivers lock out the front row, with Max Verstappen’s stunning 1:29:708 seeing him take his first pole position of the season ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez.

The team will have both Ferrari’s behind them on the second row, with Charles Leclerc not attempting a final fast lap to try and knock Verstappen off of pole.

Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur has hinted that his team intentionally sacrificed pole in order to start the Grand Prix on fresh soft tyres, rather than putting a fresh set on during the latter stages of Q3.

READ: Another blunder? Charles Leclerc admits to bizarre Ferrari strategy

Despite these tactics from Ferrari, Red Bull’s chief advisor Helmut Marko has claimed that the Scuderia are not his team’s main worry ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Austrian reportedly told Sky Germany that Red Bull actually see Aston Martin as their main rival for the race, with Ferrari’s tyre degradation being too high for them to mount a serious challenge during the race.

Fernando Alonso’s recent claims would back Marko’s prediction up, with the Spaniard telling the media after pre-season testing that Aston Martin outperformed Ferrari after running the exact same long-run test as the Scuderia.

READ: ‘I wouldn’t rule it out’: Lewis Hamilton could ditch Mercedes for Ferrari

Article continues below

Ferrari have struggled with tyre degradation during testing and practice but the team will still be hopeful of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz battle for the race win in Bahrain.

Fernando Alonso will start the race from P5 on the grid, while his teammate Lance Stroll will be a few places behind in P8, with Aston Martin sandwiching the two Mercedes.

Alonso has said that his team’s performance so far this season is “too good to be true,” leaving the Spaniard targeting a podium in his Aston Martin debut, following his controversial move from Alpine.