Verstappen Lost 50 ‘Innocent’ Points Over Hamilton – Red Bull F1 Boss

Published 10/30/2021, 12:36 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 29, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during a press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Florion Goga


Max Verstappen holds a well-fought 12 point lead over his rival, Lewis Hamilton. After the thrilling race in COTA, Verstappen heads to the final five rounds of the season, having doubled his lead. While the advantage is a mammoth achievement considering how close the season has been, Red Bull honcho, Helmut Marko believes the gap could have been larger.

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In reviewing the races so far, Helmut Marko makes an acute observation. Referencing the British, Azerbaijan and Hungarian races, Marko said, “The bottom line is that we scored more points than Hamilton in those Grand Prix; mainly because of Hamilton’s race in Turkey where he was only fifth, while Max finished second in Sochi – certainly by luck as well, because of the rain.”

Formula One F1 – Turkish Grand Prix – Intercity Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey – October 10, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during the race REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Further, the Red Bull boss was sure that had circumstances not gone South for Verstappen, the title battle would be decided by now. “But even more remarkable is: we innocently lost Baku, lost Silverstone, and lost Hungary. If you calculate the amount of points we lost carefully, then it’s over 50 points in those three races.”

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Summing up, Marko believes that Verstappen’s tally would’ve been higher now, had the DNFs been avoided. “As a result, we are only 12 points ahead now. So we have survived all those setbacks and we have also been able to match the upswing from Mercedes.”

Looking back at the Red Bull misfortune

According to Marko, three races could give Verstappen a better chance ahead of the final stint. First, Silverstone. Although Verstappen scored an ultimately crucial three points in the sprint. What could have been Max’s win to take, considering the Milton Keynes car showed great pace, a DNF is costly.

Further, Verstappen had headed to Silverstone on a high after two exceptional races. Silverstone could have been a good end to the first triple-header of the season.

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To make matters worse, Hungary came right after. Valtteri Bottas’ infamous “bowling” on turn 1 rendered Verstappen’s Red Bull incapable of putting up a proper fight. Another round, another Hamilton podium, P9 for Verstappen.

Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen kicks the wheel of his car after crashing out of the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

After the aforementioned incidents, and the DNFs in Monza, Baku proved to be valuable as well. Although Hamilton ended up fumbling in Baku, it could have played into Verstappen’s hands.

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While Marko may be optimistic about getting every race right, in a championship where the common phrase has been “every point counts”; the weight of these points will truly hit after the race in Abu Dhabi.

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Shreya Sanjeev

603 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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