May 2 - Dr Helmut Marko has named who he believes is the "only driver" now in Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc's league in Formula 1.

Red Bull's reigning world champion Verstappen, and his 2022 challenger Leclerc, are the clear dominant forces as the all-new regulations era begins.

Marko thinks it will remain a head-to-head this year.

"The only pilot that I see in the same league is Lando Norris," he is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport. "But he doesn't have the best material at the moment."

Indeed, McLaren had a tough start to the 2022 season, but the British team then bounced back first in Melbourne and also at Imola, where 22-year-old Norris was on the podium.

"Since Bahrain we've understood the car a bit better, worked on the weaknesses and made some improvements," the British driver, who recently signed a new long-term deal with McLaren, told Speed Week.

"There are a lot of positive aspects and I think we're third in the balance of power."

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