dr. Helmut Marko does not yet dare to sit back when it comes to the world championship. Max Verstappen may have the best papers, but Mercedes currently seems to be in great shape. Marko therefore acknowledges that Red Bull fell short in Qatar.
Verstappen initially qualified second in Doha, but had to start from seventh place due to a grid penalty – for ignoring a double yellow flag. As a result, he was never able to make it difficult for pole sitter Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen was able to quickly climb to second place, but an attack on his title rival was never mentioned. Marko thinks that if Verstappen had been allowed to start from second place, the gap would have been smaller, but also acknowledges that Mercedes was simply dominant on the Losail International Circuit.
Red Bull fell short in Qatar
After the race Marko concluded that Red Bull had certainly made steps towards qualifying. “Our pace was much better today than in qualifying,” he is quoted by Motorsport-Nextgen-Auto after the Grand Prix. “Had Max started second, the gap (to Hamilton) would have been smaller. He clearly lost time in the early stages of the race and had to demand more from his tyres. We didn’t have a perfect set-up with the car this weekend, something that Mercedes did. Hamilton beat us in every session.”
Marko not comfortable yet
Although Verstappen is still on track to become champion, Marko also sees that Mercedes has made significant steps in recent weeks. “We are still ahead, but I don’t feel comfortable yet,” said the Red Bull adviser. “We have to win one of the remaining two races, it’s that simple. We have to have a perfect weekend. It’s purely between Lewis and Max, the rest is nowhere.”