Helmut Marko: 'Red Bull ready to win races'

Dr Helmut Marko looks on in the garage during practice for the Austria Grand Prix at Red Bull Ring on June 19, 2015
© Getty Images
Dr Helmut Marko says that Red Bull are now ready to start winning races on their own merit.

Dr Helmut Marko has said that Red Bull are now ready to start winning races on their own merit.

The tumultuous Baku race last weekend was surprisingly won by Daniel Ricciardo, but the Red Bull driver admitted that he lucked into the victory on a track that did not suit the underpowered Renault engine.

However, team official Marko told Auto Motor und Sport that the win was "extremely important" for the team after a "bad start" to 2017.

"The pace is now coming slowly," he said.

"It shows also in qualifying, although we cannot turn up the engine like Mercedes and Ferrari. But the direction is right. On the right track, we can already win on our own strength.

"We are expecting a lot for Silverstone and Budapest. We have made a real step forward with the chassis and found a second since the start of the season.

"But Renault has also made significant progress. Two tenths on the straight in Baku does not sound much, but it makes a difference."

While Mercedes and Ferrari were once miles ahead of Red Bull in 2017, Marko says that is changing.

"We are already as strong as the second [best] car," said the Austrian. "[Lewis] Hamilton and [Sebastian] Vettel are three to four tenths ahead, and with the power turned up it is even more.

"But we are moving in the right direction. We just have to survive our home race now."

Marko is referring to the next round in Austria, where the Red Bull Ring is owned by the energy drink company.

"There is a lot of stop and go, many straights, short corners and uphill acceleration zones. There are too few places where we can make up for it with our chassis."

Furthermore, Max Verstappen is obviously furious with Red Bull and Renault's recent run of reliability problems.

"Clearly we have to improve," Marko admitted, "also because it's happening in all areas."

The result in Baku leaves Red Bull 89 points adrift of second-placed Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo is all smiles during the Italian GP practice on September 4, 2015
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes330
2Ferrari275
3Red Bull174
4Force India95
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso33
7Haas29
8Renault26
9Sauber5
10McLaren2
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari177
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes176
3Valtteri BottasMercedes154
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari98
6Max VerstappenRed Bull57
7Sergio PerezForce India52
8Esteban OconForce India43
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso29
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Pascal WehrleinSauber5
16Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
17Fernando AlonsoMcLaren2
18Jolyon PalmerRenault0
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
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