F1: Marko Hails 'Amazing' New Red Bull, Alonso Not Worried About Bad Season Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Feb, 04 2011 | 0 Comments

Dr Helmut Marko is defiantly confident after the first two test days in the life of Red Bull's 2011 car.

Wearing the 'number 1' on the nose for World Champion Sebastian Vettel, the RB7 has been impressive so far at the Ricardo Tormo track near Valencia, Spain.

Wednesday's action was watched on by the team's owner Dietrich Mateschitz, but it was his right-hand man Marko who gushed the loudest.

"If a race were held now, we would lap everybody," the Austrian told Bild newspaper. "How our car goes through the corners is amazing."

Even the usually-reserved Mateschitz sounded very confident.

"This will be our third strong year in a row," the billionaire energy drinks magnate predicted.

Said 23-year-old driver Vettel: "I cannot complain as I'm satisfied so far, but all the cars will still change considerably. Whether we're ahead or not is hard to say."

Mercedes' Norbert Haug said: "I don't think they're looking too bad."

And seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher jokingly agreed. "The new Red Bull?" said the German. "Looks good. The colour, I mean ..."



Alonso Not Worried About Bad Season With Ferrari

Fernando Alonso has reacted cautiously to those predicting a stellar season for him in 2011.

Bernie Ecclestone and Mark Webber are reported to have tipped the Spaniard for title contention with the new F150 Ferrari, which was three tenths faster than reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel's new Red Bull at the Valencia test on Wednesday.

"I have nothing to say about it," Alonso told Spanish reporters when asked about the championship predictions.

"Expectations are naturally high but it's the same for all the drivers with the big teams," he said.

"What gives you some peace of mind is that you know that a bad year at Ferrari or McLaren will have you fifth, while at some other teams you might not be in Q3," added Alonso.

"So that's not something we have to worry about.

"I like the car but it's too early to know if it's good enough to win," he said.

Alonso also tempered his earlier criticism of the Pirelli tyres, while many drivers are speaking about high degradation, inconsistency and handling problems.

"It is true that they degrade but it was worse on the first day," said Alonso.

"We have made some setup changes that have helped us, while others have improved maybe less.

"The truth is that adapting the car to the tyres is one of the main challenges."

He also dismissed reports that Renault's new exhausts which exit near the sidepods is set to be the must-have innovation of 2011.

"There are new things with each team; Renault have that and the others have something else," Alonso said.



New McLaren 'Looks Different' To Rivals: Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton had a sharp-eyed return to Formula One on Wednesday after a long winter break.

The McLaren driver was in action at the Valencia test at the wheel of the team's 2010 car, with the MP4-26 only to be unveiled in Berlin on Friday.

As well as adapting to the new Pirelli tyres, Briton Hamilton admitted to casting an eye over his rivals' new cars at the Ricardo Tormo track.

"Our car looks different to others and I hope it reflects on its performance," he is quoted by BBC Sport. "Ferrari and Red Bull look more like an evolution of last year's car."

Another change for the 2008 World Champion this year is that his father will be back in the Grand Prix paddocks.

Hamilton, 26, dumped his dad as manager last year but Anthony Hamilton will this season be in the Force India garage with his new charge Paul di Resta.

"He (Anthony) has done a fantastic job to get Paul in and clearly he's very gifted at getting drivers to formula one," Lewis said.

At the same time, he said he is close to appointing a new manager to work on his image and brand, particularly in new markets like the US.

"Hopefully in the next couple of weeks I'll be able to let you know what's going on," he said.

It is believed that 19 Entertainment, IMG and Creative Artists Agency are the frontrunners to represent Hamilton.


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