Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has shut down suggestions Ferrari could be a key player in the 2022 season by insisting that Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen are the only men in the running for the title.
New F1 rule changes are supposed to make the field much closer with no run-away winner.
Ferrari have been confident that Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc will have a stronger chance of beating Hamilton and Verstappen than in recent years
“The new regulations are a clear opportunity,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto recently said.” The hope is to be competitive and for me to be competitive is to be in the position of winning races.
“Would that mean that we can fight for a championship? If I look at today, the gap is still big.” But as Ferrari, it’s part of our DNA.
What is important is to be capable of fighting at least in some races for pole and for the win.” However, Marko reckons there will only be two clear teams that will be in the running at the front of the grid.
“Mercedes and we have the potential, the people and the continuity,” Marko told Auto Motor und Sport.
“That speaks again for a fight at the highest level. Especially since there are no other drivers like [Lewis] Hamilton and [Max] Verstappen.”
Hamilton is expected to come back with a vengeance as he looks to break away from the world title record he shares with Michael Schumacher.
But he won’t have an easy task as Marko is determined to build on Verstappen’s success. “The declared goal is the world title,” Marko added. “With such a big rule change, you can never be sure.”
Meanwhile, Binotto thinks there could be a big different between the teams at the start of the 2022 campaign. “At the start of next year, maybe at the start of the season,
there will be a difference in competitiveness between the cars because of the way each team may have interpreted the rules and solutions you may bring,” he said.”
What is important as Ferrari is being capable of understanding weaknesses and addressing them very quickly. “It’s team reaction which will be key.”