Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko has expressed his concern about Red Bull and Mercedes Benz developing their 2021 cars further into the season.
Both Red Bull and Mercedes have taken one win apiece so far in this very young season, with Lewis Hamilton taking victory in Bahrain after a close battle with Max Verstappen that saw the current World Champion come out on top; with Verstappen going one better at Imola to take victory in tricky conditions ahead of Hamilton who charged through the order after going a lap down to finish second and secure the fastest lap.
As a result, Hamilton leads the driver's championship by a single point going into round three of the series in Portugal.
Despite Marko's urges to Red Bull to knuckle down and keep the fight to Mercedes, the 77-year-old Austrian is conscious that the development of the 2022 car must begin soon before the summer break when he spoke to Red Bull-owned tv channel Servus TV.
"We need this euphoria, and also the passion and enthusiasm, there are still 19 races to go, and we have to give everything. The problem will come about before the summer break, when, theoretically, capacities will then be put on to the new development of the 2022 car."
"The only thing is: if we both continue to be so close together, I believe that neither Mercedes nor us - and certainly not us - will back down anywhere in development."
Marko also believes that although Mercedes is the quickest car over a race distance, Red Bull has the best one-lap pace.
"I think Mercedes had the faster car in Imola seen over the race distance; on the single lap, we were faster. But I also think it has to do with the lower temperatures. Plus, the handling of the tyres is also a bit better from the Mercedes chassis at the moment."
Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner has stated that both teams will have an idea of who has the advantage in the title race by the time the Formula 1 circus heads to the Spanish Grand Prix.
"I think we've now had a sample of two races, and I always said it would take four races or so to see a true reflection of the competitive positions of each of the teams, we're starting to see a pattern that its very, very tight between the cars, and Lewis and Max. And it's at the moment, marginal gains here and there."
"We see that they've got very good range and degradation. But definitely, it the Imola weekend cements the pace that we had in both the Bahrain test and the Bahrain race."