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Marko on Verstappen's gap with the rest

Marko tempers expectations of RB20: 'Advantage not as big as it seems'

22 February at 06:29

Red Bull's brand new RB20 hit the track on Wednesday for the winter test in Bahrain. Dutchman Max Verstappen impressed with the times he drove on the track. The Austrian constructor's advisor, Helmut Marko, was keen to put these performances into perspective, and he tempered expectations.

"The lead is not as big as it seems," the 80-year-old man from Graz informed Auto Motor und Sport after the first day of testing. "We were the only ones who took to the track with fresh medium tyres in the cool evening hours. That explains the big jump we made in the afternoon," Marko continued.

Marko remains cautious about RB20

Verstappen drove 143 laps on the track by himself on the first day of testing. The reigning world champion was 1.1 seconds faster than Lando Norris which caused joy in the Red Bull garage. Still, Marko thinks the differences are smaller than we have seen so far. "We estimate the actual lead to be three-tenths," he hinted.

The RB20's design seems to be based somewhat on the design Mercedes used with the zeropod concept. Although Red Bull's new car looks a lot like last season's RB19, there are definite differences. Adrian Newey previously explained why these changes have been made.