Dr Helmut Marko has admitted Red Bull has work to do in order to return to the front of the F1 field.
Having dominated F1’s recent history, the energy drink owned team is now behind McLaren in the constructors’ standings after two races in 2012, while its highest placed driver is Mark Webber in fourth.
Austrian Marko, the motor racing advisor to Red Bull mogul Dietrich Mateschitz, insisted that Adrian Newey and his technical team have built a good car for 2012.
“But it doesn’t help,” he told Salzburg television channel Servus TV, “if we are the fastest only in certain conditions, rather than consistently. To tell you the truth, at the moment it’s almost as though the car decides when it is the fastest, and when it is not.”
The outspoken manager also vigorously defended Sebastian Vettel in the wake of the Narain Karthikeyan affair, after Red Bull’s world champion lost his temper with the HRT driver following a clash in Malaysia. Marko firmly pointed the finger at F1’s backmarkers.
“We have told our team manager to talk to both Marussia and Hispania about getting their drivers to simply pay more attention,” he said. “They are driving in another league, they’re six or eight seconds slower, and so they need to watch out more than they do.
“They are 12 points Vettel lost that could be crucial in the world championship.”
He also fended off the claim that Vettel’s behaviour in Malaysia, featuring the display of middle fingers and calling Karthikeyan an “idiot”, was not worthy of a role model.
“You’ve just been in a race, you’ve seen the chance of possibly a third place go away – you’re naturally upset because he’s a human as well. I think we can understand an emotional reaction.”