Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has revealed that his team are planning an upgrade ahead of the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that should help them counter their weight problems.
The weight limit for the 2022 cars was set at 795kg due to the new technical regulations that made the cars naturally heavier, but it was reported that every team besides Alfa Romeo hadn’t managed to design and manufacture a machine that fell below that weight.
The FIA therefore agreed to the three-kilogram increase, placing the final weight at 798kg.
Red Bull have made a mixed start to 2022; they looked set to claim second and fourth through Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in Bahrain, before a mechanical issue on both cars put them out of the race late on.
The Dutchman then took victory in Saudi Arabia, while Perez – who had qualified on pole but suffered misfortune due to a poorly timed Safety Car – finished in P4.
Dr Marko has suggested that the Maranello squad have developed a more consistent car which has unconditional proficiency.
“The Ferrari is a car that is always fast, in all conditions [irrespective of] temperature or tyres,” he told Servus TV.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff previously stated that his team and Red Bull are the “most overweight,” but the Milton Keynes side have solutions lined up that will be introduced by the time the circus rolls into Europe for the first time this season.
“Our car is definitely more difficult to tune, but we will lose some weight in Imola,” Dr Marko explained.
“That should give us a significant time advantage, time gain in other words.”
Verstappen would appear to have a new rival this year in the form of Charles Leclerc, with whom he has battled numerous times in the past.
The Austrian has praised the form of the 24-year-old, predicting another enthralling title fight.
“I think we are in a good position, but we have an almost equal opponent in Ferrari. [Charles] Leclerc is driving absolutely flawless this season, so it will be an exciting year,” he added.
Red Bull looked more handy in the flat-out straight sections of the Jeddah Corniche Circuit last weekend, where as Ferrari were almost unassailable in the tight, twisty first sector.
The Albert Park Circuit, the scene of the Australian Grand Prix on 10 April, is a fairly even mix of both, so Dr Marko is intrigued to see who will fare better.
“I think it will be more or less like here [in Saudi Arabia],” he predicted.
“It’s all about who can get the car set up in the best possible way. The track has suited us in the past, but it is difficult. It will probably be particularly exciting again.”
The Red Bull upgrade will not be ready in time for the next race in Melbourne, but should be available for round four in Imola.