Helmut Marko spreading rumour about Mercedes

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko has been spreading a rumour about Mercedes, citing his "sources."

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has been told by “sources” that all might not be well at Mercedes, with the Austrian being under the impression that the Germans mood is “tense”.

The winter has been a challenging one for the Silver Arrows, who’ve worked relentlessly to ensure the upcoming season isn’t a repeat of 2022, where they slumped to third in the Constructors’ Championship.

Mercedes’ preparations for the new season have also been impacted by the imminent departure of chief strategist James Vowles, who is replacing Jost Capito as team principal at Williams.

Given how long Vowles has worked for the Brackley-based team, some have questioned if Williams will become somewhat of a Mercedes ‘B-team’, with Toto Wolff having been the executive director of Williams before joining Mercedes.

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Marko doesn’t believe such an arrangement will happen, with Vowles having also taken “good technicians” with him to the Grove-based team.

“No, I have completely different information,” Marko told Sport1.

“Vowles went of his own accord and, so it is said, even takes good technicians with him. My sources tell me that’s why the mood at Mercedes is tense.”

Losing someone of Vowles’ stature will almost certainly have some sort of impact on the Silver Arrows, with the Brit’s replacement having large shoes to fill.

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Whether the Germans are impacted momentarily or not, Marko still sees them as Red Bull’s “biggest challenger”, despite the positive news coming out of Maranello.

“We’ll see,” he said.

“But I still believe that Mercedes will be our biggest challenger when it comes to defending our title.”

The 2023 season is certainly edging ever closer, with Red Bull set to unveil their new challenger in early February.

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Despite the quick turnaround from last season to the upcoming season, Marko still managed to enjoy some “peaceful holidays”, at least when he wasn’t busy working.

“After the last race in Abu Dhabi, I was in Japan with Honda for a long time, together with the two drivers,” he said.

“After that, it got a little quieter. Not only did I have peaceful holidays, but I continued to work continuously. For example, I had a lengthy conversation with Oliver Mintzlaff, who is now responsible for our Formula 1 project (following the death of Dietrich Mateschitz).”