‘Upgrades are coming’: Marko fires warning at Ferrari, says RB18 is ‘way too heavy’

Max Verstappen suffered a second reliability-induced retirement in three races at last weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has revealed that his team’s car is an astonishing 10 kilograms heavier than Ferrari’s 2022 challenger.

The new technical regulations introduced this season have meant that the cars are naturally heavier, and the FIA increased the weight limit to 795kg to accommodate this.

However, Alfa Romeo were reportedly the only team able to meet this target, so the governing body agreed to increase the limit by three kilograms.

READ: Horner suggests cause of Verstappen’s ‘unacceptable’ DNF in Melbourne

But extreme measured are having to be taken by the teams as, despite their best efforts, getting the weight down in proving an onerous task.

A full paint job on the cars weighs around six kilograms, which is just over thirteen pounds.

Aston Martin attempted to scrape some paint off of their 2022 challenger, and saved all of 330 grams in the process.

Dr Marko has previously affirmed that the Milton Keynes side will be just over two tenths faster owing to an upgrade which is expected to reduce the weight of their car in the next race in Imola, and this kind of time gain would have put Max Verstappen on pole in Bahrain a few weeks ago.

The Austrian is optimistic that the upgrades, which will be gradually introduced as we go into the European season, can reduce their deficit to the Scuderia.

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“Our car is way too heavy,” he told de Telegraaf.

“The RB18 finished late, as we were in the title race right through to the end last year.

“Updates are coming for the upcoming race at Imola and the Grand Prix’s after. Hopefully we can get closer to Ferrari then.”

Initial reports suggested that Red Bull and Mercedes were sitting at around 213kg – five lighter than Ferrari – but the 78-year-old believes the disparity is even greater than that.

“We are currently more than ten kilos heavier than Ferrari. In terms of lap time you are already talking about a loss of three tenths,” he affirmed.

One of the Bull’s biggest issues, however, is reliability. Verstappen retired from the Australian Grand Prix due to an engine failure having been running in second for much of the race behind eventual race winner Charles Leclerc.

Team principal Christian Horner was left frustrated that, although his team were comprehensively beaten by Ferrari in Melbourne, they were denied a double-podium finish through yet more reliability woes amid Sergio Perez’s second place.

READ: Verstappen growing frustrated with Red Bull after second DNF of 2022

“That was a really disappointing result not to finish the race. I mean I don’t know what the issue is yet,” he said after the race.

“I don’t know if it’s engine related, I think it might be a fuel issue but we need to get the car back, we need to be able to look at what’s exactly happened.

“Until we get the car back, we don’t have the data, we don’t have the info.

“[It’s] definitely frustrating, I think as Max said we didn’t have the pace to race Charles today, they were in a league of their own but [it’s] frustrating not to be bagging those points.”

Red Bull sit third in the Constructors’ Championship, 49 points behind leaders Ferrari as the teams head to Imola later this month for the first European race of the season.