Helmut Marko has taken a brutal dig at Charles Leclerc heading into the 2022 season, but he had some much kinder words for the Frenchman’s Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz.
Leclerc, Sainz and their Ferrari team will be out to break the Mercedes-Red Bull dominance in 2022, after both Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton finished way above the rest last campaign.
However, Red Bull advisor Marko believes that only one of the Ferrari stars will be mounting a challenge, tipping Sainz to shine whilst slamming Leclerc as overrated.
He told Auto Bild: “Carlos is a very good driver, that he left Red Bull was not because of his performance.
“In any case, he has shown that Leclerc is probably not the wonder boy that many thought he was.”
Following the dominance of Hamilton and Verstappen in recent times the upcoming campaign is set to be tighter than those that have come in the past.
As a result, new, tighter regulations on constructor’s cars have been implemented in an attempt to bridge the gap between the sport’s elite.
Following these changes Marko believes it gives Ferrari man Sainz every chance of competing for the world championship in 2022.
He added: “The new regulations make it difficult to make predictions for this season.
“But if Ferrari makes a big impact with the new car, Carlos can definitely compete for the title.”
One man who has optimism for both Sainz and Leclerc as their Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto, who believes his team have come on leaps and bounds since their struggles in 2020.
The Italian highlighted the improvements the Prancing Horse setup had made to their engine, and expects this to continue ahead of the new season.
He told motorsport-magazin.com: “I think we’ve made a big step in the Power Unit.
“Because if you compare it to the past, last year  the Power Unit was our big weakness, and we were a long way behind.
If you look at where we are today, then the developments are obvious.”
The fact that we managed to do this eight races before the end was a great achievement by the team, which felt the responsibility and tried to work as hard as it could and introduce the engine as early as possible.
“I’m pretty sure that we can make further improvements. What I can say about the Power Unit of 2022 is: Believe me, there is a lot of innovation in it.”