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Marko fears losing Gasly

NEWS STORY
04/04/2022

Mindful of having lost former proteges Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz, Helmut Marko is fearful of losing Pierre Gasly should Red Bull not promote the Frenchman to its team.

Having made his F1 debut with Toro Rosso in 2017, Gasly was promoted to its sister team in 2019. However, on failing to match the pace of teammate Max Verstappen, the Frenchman became yet another victim of the Austrian outfit's harsh demands for 'instant' success and was demoted back to Toro Rosso midway through the season.

Since the demotion Gasly has flourished, and has understandably attracted the attention of a number of rival teams, the Frenchman demonstrating his ability on numerous occasions, not least his victory at Monza in 2020.

While Sergio Perez has upped his game at Red Bull, many fear that unless Gasly is given another chance at 'the big team', the Frenchman will follow the example of Ricciardo and Sainz and move elsewhere. Indeed, former Toto Rosso co-owner, Gerhard Berger, recently said it was time to give Gasly another shot.

"Gerhard is right," Helmut Marko tells Formel1.de, "but at the moment we still have a contract with Checo.

"We have to compare the performance of these two drivers, and with Checo we still have until the middle of the year," he adds. "With Gasly we still have a contract until 2023, and it's already clear that if this contract expires and we can't offer him a chance to move up, we will most likely lose him, and we don't want that."

Meanwhile, despite Max Verstappen's win at Jeddah on Sunday, Marko fears that the RB18's weight is going to prove a handicap as the season progresses.

Since the start of pre-season testing a number have teams have admitted an inability to get down to the minimum weight, which this season is increased by 38kgs.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, the Red Bull and Mercedes are both 15kg over the minimum, Ferrari 10 kg and McLaren and Haas 5kg.

"The changes to the safety related regulations, in order to meet, to pass these tests we're having to add mass and structure to the chassis," explained AlphaTauri's technical director, Jody Egginton at the Barcelona test.

"On top of that, geometrically the regulations have changed with regard to the minimum sizes of some elements of the chassis," he continues, "so the cockpit volumes... etc... etc... so the thing's physically larger in some respects. Put those two things together, and you're adding mass to the structure."

However, an added problem is the budget cap which sees the teams limited to spending $140m this year. For with a title fight that might well go down to the wire, the likes of Red Bull need their money for the updates required to beat Ferrari and Mercedes.

"It's much more difficult to get off the weight because of the cost cap," admits Marko to Formel1.de. "You have to calculate more precisely where technical progress, where weight reduction and reliability can be found, these three components, and then you have to find the right compromise.

"But one thing is clear: you certainly won't be able to drive at the front of the field this season if you're overweight," he adds.

The one team that appears to have got things right and is close to the minimum is Alfa Romeo.

"From the information we have, and especially how vehemently they were against adding weight, it's safe to assume they do," says Marko.

"Supposedly they also have a shorter wheelbase," he adds, "I can't judge, but together with the Ferrari engine, that explains the performance they currently have."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by ChickenFarmerF1, 04/04/2022 15:10

"@ARL said: "Random thought, what are the employment prospects of the staff who joined the Red Bull engine programme if the Porsche deal comes to fruition in '26?"

Most of them are probably ex-Honda folks. Very likely a lot of them will get picked up by Porsche. The rest will filter out to various other F1 engine programs, some to other racing programs, some to road vehicles. F1 engine experience will be quite valuable to them even if they depart racing entirely."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Spindoctor, 04/04/2022 13:06

"Having built-up Verstappen as the F1 equivalent of the 2nd coming, it's clearly come as a bit of a shock for RBR\Marko\Horner to discover that several of the younger drivers including Leclerc are just as fast & quite a bit smarter in wheel-to-wheel racing. That's not to mention Hamilton who given a halfway decent car will be snapping at his heels too.

Things could get quite interesting. RBR's car superiority is clear again this year, though the gap to Ferrari is smaller than that to Merc in most of last season. From the Radio traffic at Jeddah (& his driving for much of last year) it's clear Max gets easily flustered & makes errors when things don't go quite his way. Without a reliable "wingman" to take points off challengers he & RBR could easily lose this year...."

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3. Posted by ARL, 04/04/2022 11:37

"Simple maths, Gasly is six years younger than Sergio.

Red Bull have a problem with driver succession, who is willing to hang about until young Max decides to pack in F1 and also risk the reputational damage of spending that amount of time in Max's shadow?

Red Bull have shown little patience with second drivers or engine suppliers so the problem is as much of their own making. If they had played more nicely with Renault they could have had an engine deal with Mercedes years before Honda became available.

Who will they blame if the Honda engine starts to lose ground over the next couple of years? At times they blamed Renault for problems that lay within the Red Bull packaging. That option is behind them now.

Random thought, what are the employment prospects of the staff who joined the Red Bull engine programme if the Porsche deal comes to fruition in '26?"

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4. Posted by Defiant, 03/04/2022 16:31

"He's never cared about 95% of his drivers and I doubt he ever will. He has the attention span of Dory when it comes to them and I for one will be pleased if Gasly gets a shot with another team that will treat him with respect longer than the week after his win."

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5. Posted by Lapps, 02/04/2022 20:26

"It seems that Helmut and Christian have just woken up to the fact that they are going to lose the Manufacturer’s Title to Ferrari no matter what happens about the Driver’s title!"

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6. Posted by Wokingchap, 02/04/2022 12:02

"Role....May I add, he doesn't give a monkeys about contracts either."

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7. Posted by alvarezh3, 02/04/2022 11:58

"Marko, try paying him what you pay Checo and he would probably stay @ A.T. for a couple of years."

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8. Posted by KKK, 02/04/2022 10:34

"Marko, who are you kidding ? You couldn't give a monkey's about drivers. He will just get another one from the drawer!"

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