Red Bull’s Helmut Marko believes shifts in the F1 pecking order for 2022 will be limited, but Ferrari could win a race or two.
In a bid to bunch up the pack, allow cars to follow closer for longer and increase overtaking opportunities, Formula 1 introduced a fresh set of regulations for 2022, a change that will see the cars look significantly different to those that took to the track in 2021.
Of course, when the goalposts shift so drastically, opportunities are created for a team to take a trip up the pecking order.
Ferrari are one of the teams who expect, and are expected, to take advantage of these new rules and return to the battle at the front, having secured P3 in the 2021 Constructors’ Championship, comfortably behind Mercedes and Red Bull.
The Scuderia have placed the expectation upon themselves to compete for wins and titles, and Marko has had his say on these ambitions.
If any team is to make a sizeable improvement on their 2021 efforts, he believes it will be Ferrari.
That said, he expects that will lead to at most a couple of race wins.
Ferrari did not win a race in 2021 but claimed pole position twice, as well as five podium finishes.
In an interview with Autorevue, Marko said: “I don’t think there will be any significant shifts in the balance of power on the track.
“Maybe Ferrari will take another step forward and win a race or two.”
If the Maranello outfit are to make such an improvement, Marko believes that will be down to the new Ferrari power unit about which Red Bull have heard positive reviews.
The new power units being developed across the manufacturers will work with a new E10 fuel, which features 10% ethanol, whereas in the past, teams could choose the bio-components which formed the 5.75% of biofuel required in the mixture.
“The improvements made to the power unit were evident at the end of 2021 and from what we hear, they are also doing very well with regard to the biological fuel that will come into force in 2022,” Marko stated.
Although Red Bull and Mercedes were the class of the field in 2022, Marko would actually welcome another team joining the party, claiming Red Bull do not want another season when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton are in a league of their own.
“We hope the grid will get closer on the level of performance,” said the head of Red Bull’s driver programme.
“Basically, on the level of pure speed, Verstappen and Hamilton lapped the competition in 2021.”