APRIL 12, 2021
Marko denies mysterious suspension rumours
Dr Helmut Marko has rubbished rumours that Red Bull is set to debut a new and "mysterious" suspension system this weekend at Imola.
"This is complete nonsense," said the Austrian team official.
"We already had this 'mysterious' suspension in Bahrain but it's nothing special," Marko told Sport1.
"We had to design it because we needed a suspension that would fit the extremely narrow rear end that we built around the new, smaller and more compact Honda engine this season," he added.
Marko is therefore expecting another very close battle between Max Verstappen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton this weekend.
"In Bahrain we saw that they are in a league of their own," he said. "Nobody else can answer that at the moment.
"I trust Max to be faster than Hamilton on one lap, but Hamilton has something on him with his experience."
Indeed, Red Bull seemed to be the faster car in Bahrain, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists the reigning world champions can compensate for the team's 'low rake' car concept.
"It may not be possible in a month, but we can solve it. The car still has potential," he said.
"We can't just throw away the 2021 season, because there is no guarantee that you will be better in 2022 just because you started a few weeks earlier."
Finally, members of the media are wondering why Mercedes has appointed a new technical director, Mike Elliot, as James Allison steps away to help Toto Wolff with "major strategic challenges" for the future.
"Is id due to the low rake concept?" wondered Match TV commentator Alexey Popov. "Perhaps it's just so Allison can move his efforts onto 2022 so that Mercedes can dominate the next generation as it did with this one."
Auto Motor und Sport's Tobias Gruner added: "It looks a bit like a holding pattern to me, from where he (Allison) can step up to the team principal role when Toto Wolff decides to leave his post."