Red Bull must 'do everything' to win 2021 F1 title despite 2022 'risk' - Marko

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Red Bull must "do everything" to win this year's Formula 1 championship despite the "risk" of balancing the 2022 project, Helmut Marko says.

Regulation changes for 2021 have helped bring the Milton Keynes-based outfit on level terms at least with Mercedes this season, as was proven by Max Verstappen's convincing pole in Bahrain.

On race day, the reigning champions hit back, with Lewis Hamilton taking victory, but the potential for a first genuine title bid since 2013 appears to have changed how Red Bull planned to attack both this year and the new regulations for 2022.

"I said at the start of the season that it’s the most difficult season for us since we have been in Formula 1," Marko told

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"On the one hand, we are obviously affected by the budget cap and on the other, we see an opportunity to win the world title.

"Therefore, we have to do everything in our power to win it – without ignoring 2022. We have to work in parallel and it is now a risk, to balance the two projects in a way that both are a success."

Another indication of just how strong Red Bull's championship chances are will come this weekend at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, on a very different circuit around the high downforce Imola layout.

"I think with the package we have - a very competitive engine and a chassis that responds well to everything - we will be at Mercedes’ level again," Marko continued.

"We now know that you can only succeed against Mercedes if you are perfect. Everything has to be right.

"We assume the situation will be similar [at Imola]. Hopefully, the podium will be reversed, with Max on the highest step."

Another key factor for Red Bull is the performance of Sergio Perez, who fought through from a pitlane start to fifth in Bahrain after his car shutdown on the formation lap.

"My goal is to have a good race and I’m looking forward to the weekend," commented the Mexican.

"Hopefully in Imola we can come back and be in contention to fight for a podium and hopefully take the win.

"Unlike Bahrain, qualifying is very important at Imola as you can hardly overtake there, but I like it."