Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull motorsport advisor has suggested his former driver Sebastian Vettel to return even stronger after the Formula 1’s summer break ends, and set claim on the 2017 world driver’s championship. The German driver has won 4 out of the 11 championship races, including the race before the summer break in Hungary, bouncing him back to a lead with 14 points.
When asked who he thought will win the drivers’ title this season in an interview with the official Formula 1 website, Marko picked Vettel, who won all four of his drivers’ titles with Red Bull. “I believe in Vettel, because I know his mental strength – and Ferrari has raised its game,” said Marko. “Silverstone, I would say, was an exception – Ferrari was clearly the stronger car in the first half of the season and only due to various circumstances could they not materialise all their chances. Seb will use this summer break to come back even stronger. That’s how I know him.”
Red Bull has failed to clear the gap of the constructors’ championship with leader Mercedes and Ferrari this season, being behind Ferrari by 173 points. Red Bull boss Christian Horner has said the team’s slow start to the season was caused by this year’s new generation cars affecting the performance of its windtunnel.
“It [P3] is not good enough for Red Bull, but in our position with the engine it’s the best we can get,” said Marko. Renault has admitted it made too many changes to its engine, and has paid the price with reliability struggles throughout the mid-season. Horner believes Renault is behind where it wanted to be at this point in the season, but Red Bull has found a clearer direction for its chassis to lessen the harm.
“I think Renault are behind the targets that they’ve set themselves but they’re working very hard and again the others didn’t stand still,” said Horner. “Mercedes obviously had a good winter, Ferrari had a good winter so it’s all relative. The fundamental concept of the car is the same, it’s just how it’s evolved and I think it’s the direction of evolution that has changed and been putting good performance on to the car. I think we’ve probably found a couple of tenths from the start of the season”, added Horner.