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Marko still convinced Red Bull has the better chassis

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Ferrari can claim bragging rights for posting the fastest times in pre-season testing, but Red Bull's Helmut Marko believes the RB14 is the best chassis.

Many pundits think the Milton Keynes-based outfit has a winner on its hands, thanks to the team's early start to the RB14's design process and to the speed showed by the new charger in pre-season testing.

Marko contends that if there is a deficit between the Renault-powered Red Bull and its front-running rivals Mercedes and Ferrari, it should be put down to the engine.

"We have the better chassis," the Austrian told Auto Motor und Sport. "The difference is the engine."

However, Red Bull designer Adrian Newey points to another potential key difference between the power unit in the back of the RB14 and those which used by Mercedes and Ferrari.

"For us, the oil consumption per 100 litres is 0.1 litres," he revealed. "Mercedes and Ferrari go the limit of 0.6 litres."

Oil consumption was indeed a subject of discussion among observers this week in Barcelona, with the Scuderia's SF71-H setting off a smoke screen every time it left its garage.

Quizzed about the observation, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel dismissed any negative interpretation.

"That's not a problem," he said. "There are still some puzzles that we need to understand."

While Vettel was the fastest man around the Circuit de Catalunya this week, many still believe Mercedes holds a comfortable advantage over its rivals in race trim, estimated at one full second!

Valtteri Bottas is confident in the potential of the Silver Arrows W09, but denies an easy task awaits Mercedes in Australia at the end of the month.

"We are definitely not a second ahead of the others," he said on Friday.

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