Red Bull’s Marko shocked by Mercedes’ deep crisis

Helmut Marko, a leading player at Red Bull Racing, has expressed his astonishment over Mercedes’ inability to get a handle on the ground effect regulations introduced in 2022, despite now being three years into these changes.

Observers note a further decline – or at least no major improvement – in Mercedes’ performance in 2024, despite a significant design shift from their innovative-yet-failed ‘no sidepods’ approach over the winter to a design more reminiscent of Red Bull’s.

Christian Danner, a former F1 competitor, speculated that the loss of Toto Wolff’s esteemed colleague, the great Niki Lauda, might shed light on the prolonged difficulties faced by Mercedes. These challenges have been so severe that Lewis Hamilton has confirmed a move to Ferrari for the 2025 season.

“It’s not that simple,” remarked Marko, reflecting on the complexity of the issues at Mercedes. “You don’t enter a slump like this overnight. But what is alarming is that they have not been competitive for a third season now.”

Despite the tough times, Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ team boss and co-owner, maintains a positive outlook, a contrast to the view of many who believe the situation is dire. “They probably are ringing,” Marko noted about whether every alarm bell should be ringing. “What confuses me the most is that their car is really fast at times, making me think ‘Now they’ve got it!’ But it’s always just a flash in the pan.”

Another Austrian publication, Kleine Zeitung, inquired if Marko had any advice for Wolff amid these turbulent times. “That’s a good question,” he commented. “I’m surprised by the situation myself. In Brazil 2022, after George Russell’s victory, they believed things would get better. But so far they haven’t brought any consistency. The car works well on some tracks and not at all elsewhere. The reasons are certainly more to do with the chassis, and they haven’t found the solution yet.”

GMM

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