Marko claims Ferrari not at Red Bull/Mercedes level, Wolff isn't so sure

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Red Bull's outspoken advisor Helmut Marko has ruled out Ferrari from this year's Formula 1 championship fight.

Before the coronavirus, expectations were for the closest season yet in the hybrid era in 2020, as the performance of the top three teams converged in the final races of 2019.

But based on what was seen in pre-season testing, the Austrian expects only a two-team race for the title.

"Everything is moving along like clockwork, now all we have to do is stay calm. In the end, we don’t know how many races will be run, every race is of course even more significant now, almost a final of sorts," he said of Red Bull's preparation to

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“That is why reliability will be key to winning the world championship, any slip-up can cost us the championship and, of course, you have to count in drivers’ mistakes.

“We expect the fight to be between us and Mercedes," Marko added. "In our opinion, Ferrari is not at our level to be among the front runners."

To start, F1 will head to Austria and the Red Bull Ring for a back-to-back doubleheader, and after watching Verstappen win the company's home race in 2018 and 2019, Marko has high hopes for 2020.

“We are confident that we can get the third victory in a row,” he told RTL. “Mercedes has never been strong here and has had problems.”

As for the Red Bull advisor dismissing Ferrari as a potential threat though, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes doing so would be dangerous.

“The Ferrari engine was very strong last season, and I think we haven’t yet seen the true power of the Ferrari engine in winter testing,” he told

“Only in qualifying [in Austria] will we finally be able to see where everyone stands, but as always, I’m very pessimistic.

“On our side, we need to close the gap with Ferrari and make sure we have a reliable and solid power unit.”