Max Verstappen’s Crash Hurts ‘With the Luck Mercedes Has’: Marko

Published 06/09/2021, 9:50 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 18, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen talks with team principal Christian Horner after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


The Azerbaijan Grand Prix yielded a race filled with drama and entertainment. After 51 laps, Red Bull achieved more success than their championship rivals, Mercedes in Baku. Although Sergio Perez took the champagne in the “Land of Fire,” Max Verstappen recorded his first DNF of the season.

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After a mixed weekend for the Austrian outfit, Red Bull advisor Dr. Helmut Marko rounded up their weekend in Baku. He highlights the impact of Verstappen’s DNF, along with a feeling of concern in the paddock during the race restart after the Dutchman’s crash.

Dr. Helmut Marko admits DNF for Max Verstappen hurt Red Bull

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While Red Bull dominated the race in terms of strategy, Verstappen and Perez dominated on track, setting several fastest laps. Although Verstappen led for a majority of the race, nothing could save him from his tires blowing out in Lap 47.

Marko believes the Dutchman’s crash hurt Red Bull‘s success this weekend. Although Perez took his first race win with the team, the 23-year-old didn’t score points, which stopped him from increasing the gap to title rival Lewis Hamilton. He also believes that every opportunity to increase the gap to Mercedes needs to be taken.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen kicks the wheel of his car after crashing out of the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The Austrian said“It just hurts. We are the fastest combination. Car plus driver. But we’re only four points ahead. That doesn’t reflect our strength. With the luck that Mercedes has, you have to be happy at every point by which you can break away.”

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Marko admits a potential Hamilton win raised concerns in the team

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With Verstappen’s crash bringing out red flags, the FIA decided to resume the race with a standing start. Although Hamilton got away well, a huge error sent him all the way down to P15 after Perez forced the Briton to make a mistake.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez celebrates with team members after winning the race Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Marko was grateful for Perez’s quick start, while admitting a Hamilton win got the team very concerned. “It was very big and very justified,” said Marko. “And thank goodness Perez had spinning wheels when he restarted. If he had got away better, Hamilton would have cleared him with him. Blessing in disguise.”

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With Mercedes’ prowess on normal racetracks, Red Bull will be looking nervously over their shoulder as the Silver Arrows look to bounce back in two weeks’ time at Le Castellet. Will the Austrian outfit and Verstappen rue their missed opportunities later this season?

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Sanket Nair

632 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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