Senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has no sympathy for the Mercedes F1 Team following them losing performance as a result of the 2021 regulation changes.
Last year, the FIA mandated cuts to the rear floor and other downforce-generating components on the rear of the cars in a bid to reduce cornering speeds and loads following a number of tyres bursting.
These changes seem to have hurt cars following a low-rake aero design philosophy – such as Mercedes and Aston Martin’s 2021 challengers – considerably more so than cars with a high-rake philosophy.
Following the 2021 season-opener, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said he can see areas of “bias against” the Silver Arrows in Formula One and claimed it is “no secret that the changes have been done to peg us back.”
In addition to the most recent regulation changes, Mercedes had previously suggested that the ban on so-called engine “party modes” last season was also done with the aim of curbing their performance and domination of F1’s V6 turbo-hybrid era.
Speaking this week, Dr Marko suggested that he has no sympathy for Mercedes and claimed that Red Bull also had to deal with similar regulation changes when they dominated Formula One from 2010 to 2013.
“In our time when we won four World titles, the rules were changed countless times,” the Austrian said in an interview with Motorsport-Total.com.
“We always interpreted them in such a way that they were against us.”
Continuing, Dr Marko emphasised that the FIA decided to implement the 2021 regulation changes following pressure from Pirelli
“The reason was that they wanted to reduce the speed,” he said.
“The biggest argument came from Pirelli, where the tyre pressure were not allowed to be too high. That it has less effect on us is a prejudice and cannot be proved.
“Before Mercedes lost this lead, their concept was the best, but suddenly ours is.
“That’s how it goes. If the regulations change, then you have to adapt to it,” he concluded.
Despite Red Bull’s RB16B appearing to be the most competitive car in Bahrain, Sir Lewis Hamilton nevertheless managed to win the 2021 season-opener.
Mercedes have said they are not quite sure how the next two races, which will take place at Imola and Portimão, will suit their car, but they are looking to extract more performance from their 2021 package over the coming weeks and months.
“Bahrain is very hard on the rear tyres and it was really windy,” Andrew Shovlin, Mercedes’ trackside engineering director, said.
“We had 30-40kph winds, which is the upper end of what you see in a normal race season.
“We’re certainly hoping it was not one of our finest tracks because we really had quite a tough time. We got the car quite decent at the end but it was awfully hard work.
“If you look at Red Bull through the test and through free practice, their car just worked really well. Hopefully, we’ll find circuits that do suit us more.
“But looking to Imola, looking to Portimão, I don’t think we’re good enough in the high speed and there’s plenty of that at both, and that’s one area they have an advantage on us,” he added.