Marko Makes a Surprising Revelation Over Max Verstappen’s Race in Bahrain – ‘Had Problems’

Published 04/04/2021, 3:15 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 28, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates second place on the podium with the trophy Pool via REUTERS/Lars Baron

Red Bull Racing managed to extend their dominance from last season’s Abu Dhabi GP into the 2021 season-opener at the Sakhir International Circuit. And outshining everyone was, yet again, their star driver Max Verstappen.


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Yes, the end result was quite different from what everyone had anticipated; Lewis Hamilton and his team’s timely strategical decisions stole the lead and ultimately the victory from the Dutchman.

However, there’s some interesting news for the fans who felt that Mercedes could yet again pull off a straightforward championship victory considering the strong showing in Bahrain last weekend.


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Red Bull’s advisor, Dr. Helmut Marko, revealed that Max never had the full services from the brutal new Honda power unit. Apparently, there were some software issues to Max’s car which forced the team to turn down the engine a notch.

What did Marko say?

As reported by RacingNews365, Marko acknowledged that Max was struggling with reliability issues through the race. Hence, he had to drive his car with a lower engine mode.

The problems we had were primarily software-related. Nothing in the hardware. So things that you can fix with adjustments,” Marko apparently told Formel1.

Ever since the lights went out at Bahrain GP, Max was on the radio keeping his team updated on what’s wrong with his car.

In the end, it was more of a differential issue, which consequently caused rear-wheel slipping for the flying Dutchman.

It was more of a one-way decision for Red Bull because F1’s rules suggest that teams can fiddle with the engine modes during the race if the car suffers from reliability issues. However, the twist in this rule is that the teams cannot revert to the original settings even if the issue is resolved.

Max Verstappen drove accordingly: Red Bull advisor

The Red Bull advisor opened up that Max was losing nearly 0.3 seconds per lap due to the differential issue, with the final sector taking the biggest blow.

At the beginning of the race he had problems in the differential area. And last sector more specifically, even drastically, up to three tenths per lap,” he said.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

But still, Max drove accordingly.”


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What’s astonishing about this is that Max was just over 0.7 seconds behind Lewis by the time his car crossed the checkered flag.

Hence, this proves that Mercedes‘ worries are actually true. Red Bull are currently the fastest car on the grid, and an incredible fight to the title is definitely on the cards.

But who is going to take home that trophy? Only time will tell.


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Rohit Kumar

662 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.