Marko Cautions RB20 Advantage Not as Significant as Perceived

Helmut Marko tempers expectations about Red Bull’s RB20’s performance in Bahrain winter testing, attributing its lead to strategic tire use and estimating the actual advantage over competitors to be smaller than it appears.


‣ Red Bull’s RB20 showcased impressive performance during the winter test in Bahrain, with Max Verstappen driving notable times.

‣ Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s advisor, cautioned that the perceived lead might not be as significant as it appears, attributing the advantage to specific conditions like using fresh medium tyres in cooler evening hours.

‣ Despite Verstappen’s significant lead over competitors during the test, Marko estimates the RB20’s actual lead over rivals to be around three-tenths of a second.

‣ The RB20’s design incorporates elements from the zeropod concept similar to Mercedes, marking a departure from last season’s RB19, with Adrian Newey explaining the rationale behind the changes.

Red Bull’s latest marvel, the RB20, hit the Bahrain track on a chilly Wednesday. It was their winter test debut. Max Verstappen, the flying Dutchman, didn’t just drive; he soared, clocking times that turned heads. Yet, Helmut Marko, the team’s wise old sage, wasn’t ready to pop the champagne just yet. He urged caution, tempering the rising excitement.

“The lead’s not what it looks like,” he mused to Auto Motor und Sport, post-testing. At 80, Marko’s seen it all. “We had an ace up our sleeve – fresh medium tyres and the cool evening air. That’s why we leaped ahead in the afternoon,” he revealed, a hint of strategy in his voice.

### Marko remains cautious about RB20

Verstappen, alone on the track, lapped it 143 times. The reigning champ was a whole 1.1 seconds quicker than Lando Norris. This performance sparked joy in the Red Bull camp. Yet, Marko, ever the realist, suggested the gap isn’t as wide as it appears. “Three-tenths might be closer to the truth,” he speculated, tempering expectations.

The RB20’s design? It’s a nod to Mercedes’ innovative zeropod concept. Despite bearing a resemblance to last season’s RB19, keen eyes will spot the differences. Adrian Newey, the brain behind the beast, shed light on the tweaks. “We had our reasons,” he said, alluding to the changes without spilling all the secrets.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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