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Red Bull won't abandon Verstappen's 2021 chances - Marko

Red Bull won't abandon Verstappen's 2021 chances - Marko
© Reuters
Dr Helmut Marko says Red Bull will not abandon development of its 2021 car - even with the radical new 2022 technical regulations now looming large in Formula 1.

Dr Helmut Marko says Red Bull will not abandon development of its 2021 car - even with the radical new 2022 technical regulations now looming large in Formula 1.

Most teams not in contention for ultimate spoils this season are already turning the bulk of their resources towards developing brand new cars for next year.

But Marko says Red Bull will keep pushing the pace of its current car at least until the summer break.

"Then we will have another look depending on the world championship standings," said the top team official.

Some might see that position as Red Bull potentially compromising the development of the 2022 car, which will form the basis of subsequent cars as well.

But Marko says Red Bull can't compromise the team's chances in 2021, either.

"We can't do that to Max now that he has a car for the first time with which he can become world champion," the Austrian insisted.

In Portimao, although Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas was on pole before Lewis Hamilton won, it became clear that the reigning champions and Red Bull appear tantalisingly close together in performance.

"It's a tough championship," confirmed Marko. "Barcelona is similar to Portugal so I hope that maybe we can fight back there."

Team boss Christian Horner added: "We are slowly getting a picture of the strengths and weaknesses of the cars. The conditions in Portugal were very abnormal so if we have a standard race in Barcelona we should know even more."

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher thinks the pendulum could swing back to Red Bull this weekend.

"I see Red Bull at a slight advantage for Spain," he told Sky Deutschland. "The track characteristics will suit them with the slow and medium-speed corners."

However, a question mark has emerged over the ultimate power of the Honda engine.

"Max already asked his team what had happened to the speed on the straight in qualifying," former Red Bull driver Robert Doornbos told Ziggo Sport after Portimao.

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Red Bull's Helmut Marko pictured in July 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States20231659
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12191344
Great BritainGreat Britain10101232
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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