Marko releases battle plan: “As soon as Verstappen’s tires wear out, we dive in”

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Helmut Marko would have preferred to see Max Verstappen start on the medium tire in Abu Dhabi, but is not dissatisfied. The Red Bull Racing adviser has released his team’s battle plan, stating that Red Bull has been cornered somewhat strategically. He also hopes for a good start from Lando Norris. That could throw a spanner in the works for Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen starts the race on the soft tyre, Hamilton on a harder compound. This means that the Dutchman’s tires must be changed more quickly, but also that there is a greater chance that he will start well at the start. “As soon as Verstappen’s tires wear out, we dive in. Nothing is lost yet,” Marko told SPORT1.

‘That does narrow down our possible strategies. It would have been better if we had a choice,” admits the consultant. For the time being, the only remaining option for the Limburger seems to be to immediately switch from the soft tire to the hardest compound and turn it into a one-stop. However, Red Bull could also go for a two-stop at Yas Marina Circuit.

“For us this is the optimal situation for the start, except that we were left with slightly more strategic options in the medium tyre,” says Marko. The team from Milton Keynes has also ensured that Verstappen’s colleague, Sergio Pérez, starts on the soft tyre. The Mexican could therefore make it difficult for Hamilton at the start of the race.

Marko hopes for Norris

However, there is also an outsider that Marko hopes will join the fight. Norris starts from third place, on the clean side of the track, also on red tires. “Maybe he can outwit Hamilton,” the Austrian reports hopefully. “That would be a great safety net for us.”

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