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Ferrari rises as Red Bull struggles with new updates

Ferrari rises as Red Bull struggles with new updates
© Reuters
Dr. Helmut Marko has acknowledged that Ferrari has emerged as a "serious opponent" for the otherwise dominant Red Bull team following the latest developments.

Dr. Helmut Marko has acknowledged that Ferrari has emerged as a "serious opponent" for the otherwise dominant Red Bull team following the latest developments.

The Ferrari team, based in Maranello, introduced significant improvements to their cars for this weekend's race, contrasting with Red Bull's technical lead Pierre Wache's admission that their own new additions were less "visible."

Following Friday's sessions at Imola, La Repubblica reported with enthusiasm, "The new Ferrari works."

Charles Leclerc dominated by setting the fastest times in both sessions, while Red Bull's Max Verstappen struggled, only managing fifth fastest in messy sessions for the championship front-runner.

"We were the most consistent across all disciplines," confessed Ferrari's team principal, Frederic Vasseur.

While Ferrari's upgrades appeared effective, Red Bull faced confusion. "The upgrade and the setup don't fit together yet," Marko admitted. He further elaborated on their setbacks, stating, "We developed in the wrong direction and are completely out of the window. The car doesn't work with any tyre compound."

Verstappen trailed by a significant half-second, and Marko expressed deeper concerns, noting, "We were even further behind in the long runs. That alarms me more than the fastest lap." He continued to express concern, saying, "What worries me the most is that Max has problems with it. And if Max can't get it under control, then something is very wrong."

Marko, at 81, shared with Sky Deutschland, "The car reacts differently every time, and above all is completely unpredictable." He also added a hopeful note, "It may be the case that some of the new parts do not function optimally as a package. But we don't think it's a fundamental problem, otherwise it would be the case in every sector."

Despite the setbacks, Marko recognized Ferrari's prowess, saying, "It is impressive what Ferrari is showing," and admitted in Kleine Zeitung, "The competition is getting closer - that is a fact. Ferrari has certainly taken a step forward. I see them as our most serious opponent."

Mercedes, too, brought upgrades to Imola, with the team and drivers feeling more optimistic than usual after Friday's sessions.

Marko commented on Mercedes' fluctuating performances, "Sometimes they are at the front and then suddenly they are completely gone again. Let's see if they can untie their Gordian knot with their upgrade."

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