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Red Bull special advisor Helmut Marko believes Fernando Alonso will be their closest challenger at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, dealing a cold snub to Ferrari and Mercedes.

“Behind us, or at least it looks like it, will be an exciting battle at least between the Alpine and Fernando Alonso, and Ferrari to some extent,” Marko told Austrian broadcaster ORF.

The 79-year-old isn’t even ruling out a surprise push for victory by Alonso, despite Red Bull’s dominance in Jeddah so far.

He added: “Alonso is in his third spring. The overtaking against Hamilton in Bahrain was unbelievable. I trust him to make Aston Martin number two in Formula 1.”