Marko: Tyre graining complicating Red Bull’s work

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko says that temperature-induced tyre graining during testing at Barcelona is a potential source of confusion for the team’s engineers.

Red Bull Racing concluded its first week of pre-season testing with a positive assessment of its RB15, helped in no small part by the flawless reliability of the Honda engine.

Marko has suggested that the Milton Keynes-based outfit is currently behind Ferrari in the early pecking order but in front of Mercedes.

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However, Barcelona’s cool track temperatures have caused many cases of tyre graining among the teams, something Pirelli is hoping to minimize this season thanks to the new thinner tread of its tyres.

Marko insisted that Pirelli’s engineers were attentive to the phenomenon but teams are also cautious not to attribute its origin to the chassis.

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“It’s a nightmare. The thinner tread is supposed to minimize graining, but at low temperatures, the tires graze anyway,” Marko told Auto Motor und Sport.

“We have to be hell-bent not to draw the wrong conclusions and to let ourselves be guided in the wrong direction in car development.”

Red Bull will introduce a raft of upgrades for its RB15 this week and during the run-up to Melbourne that should put its 2019 charger on a par with Ferrari for Australian Grand Prix.

“The two-tenths that we miss on Ferrari, we have to find on the chassis side,” added Marko.

“It’ll be gone by Melbourne at the latest.”

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