Helmut Marko believes that Ferrari’s reliability issues could result in grid penalties for Charles Leclerc in the coming stages of the 2022 season.
The Red Bull versus Ferrari contest was brought to a premature end at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after reliability issues were encountered by both of the Scuderia’s cars, leaving Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez unchallenged in their 1-2 result.
The outcome of the race in Baku has also extended Verstappen’s lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship to 21 points over teammate Perez. Leclerc is 34 points away from Verstappen.
Speaking after the race, Red Bull advisor Marko suggested that Ferrari’s engine issues will result in them taking grid penalties for using too many components in a season.
“We want a fair fight,” he told Austrian media outlet ServusTV.
“Leclerc will now tap into a third engine and will have to change engines at least once or twice after that, with grid penalties being insurmountable.”
Marko: Red Bull would have won anyway
With the battle for the lead finishing sooner than anticipated, Verstappen took the win at the Baku City Circuit with more than a 20 second gap ahead of Perez.
At the time of Leclerc’s retirement, the Monegasque driver was leading the race after electing to take a pit-stop under the Virtual Safety Car.
Before his first stop, the pole position winner had been passed by Perez at the start and was under a lot of pressure from Verstappen, highlighting Red Bull’s strong race pace.
Marko believes that there was enough evidence to suggest Red Bull had the quicker car in the race, and that Leclerc only remained ahead of Verstappen due to a slipstream from then-leader Perez.
“In terms of pure speed, it was unfortunate that Leclerc managed to find a slipstream behind Perez in the first few laps, so Max was unable to overtake him immediately,” added Marko.
“After that, however, we saw the picture we expected, namely the one in which we were really the fastest in race trim after all.”