Mercedes F1 potential is “dangerous”, admits Red Bull's Marko – Autosport

Although Mercedes – eight-time consecutive constructors’ champions – is currently 101 points behind leaders Red Bull after seven races, Marko still regards it as “dangerous” due to the quick lap times its cars have occasionally been able to unleash.
Red Bull’s points leader Max Verstappen is 41 points clear of the top Mercedes driver, George Russell, and 75 ahead of Lewis Hamilton, but Marko says he’s seen enough potential from its radical W13 car – especially after updates in Barcelona – to be concerned.
“Mercedes is doing incredibly fast laps in practice and also in the races, both with Hamilton and Russell,” Marko told German language sister site Formel1.de. “Not continuously, so for us it’s difficult to interpret where that lap time is coming from. Listening closely to the Mercedes people, I don’t think they know either.
“But the dangerous thing is the potential seems to be there. And once that can be called up over a race distance, then they’ll be right up there or right at the front.”
When asked if he thought Mercedes had been bluffing about its speed all season, he replied: “No, it’s not a bluff.
Spanish GP: George Russell, Mercedes W13, leads Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images
“The bluff was where they had this weird engine advantage and last year the Hamilton engine – there they were bluffing hard. So, I don’t believe that.
“And it’s really incredibly hard to understand where this [car is] incredibly fast. They’re the fastest in the field at [one] stage, but it doesn’t last long.
“What exactly changes there, why they can’t drive that continuously, is just – thank God – still the problem, I would say.”
Marko added that he believes the Mercedes is “in our range” of being over the minimum weight limit by as much as 5 kilos, and that both were behind Ferrari in this case – stating “I think Ferrari is pretty much at the limit there.”
“The positive thing is that there is a reserve of a few tenths when we reach the minimum weight,” he said, but went on to point out “you can’t do that overnight”.
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