Helmut Marko Disagrees with Perez: Max Verstappen's Exit Didn't Decide Ferrari's Win

“I spoke to Max and he said that despite the problems, he kept up with Sainz’s pace relatively easily."- Marko said.

by Sead Dedovic
Helmut Marko Disagrees with Perez: Max Verstappen's Exit Didn't Decide Ferrari's Win
© Clive Rose / Getty Images Sport

Sergio Perez's statement after the race in Australia sparked a large number of reactions. The race winner was Carlos Sainz, who finally stopped Red Bull's winning streak. Max Verstappen had to retire from the race due to brake issues. The Spaniard gained momentum, had speed and stability, and deservedly secured the victory. After the race, Perez made an interesting statement that did not go unnoticed. The Mexican driver emphasized that his team lacked the necessary pace and faced a lot of struggles.

“As a team we just didn’t have the pace today. We didn’t have the pace throughout the weekend.

We were struggling already from Friday and we never got on top of the management of tyres. I think we just have to understand and make sure we are able to improve.”- Sergio Perez said, as quoted by crash.net

However, when asked by the reporter if Ferrari would have won if Verstappen had stayed in the race, Perez replied: "Absolutely, yes."

Helmut Marko reacted shortly thereafter to Perez's statements, whose future at Red Bull is still uncertain. Helmut believes that Red Bull would still have great chances of winning regardless of everything. He had the opportunity to communicate with Verstappen, who confirmed that he could have matched Sainz throughout the race. However, such problems are an integral part of the sport, and this had to happen as well.

“I spoke to Max and he said that despite the problems, he kept up with Sainz’s pace relatively easily. With Max in the race, the outcome would have been completely different.”- he continued.

Marko is still not sure what happened in the last race and why Max Verstappen had a problem. The situation could have been much worse for Verstappen, but fortunately, there was no fire.

“We don’t know exactly yet, but already on the lap when Sainz overtook him, the brake didn’t release,” he continued.

“In addition, he got slightly sideways and Sainz overtook him as a result. As a result, the brake got completely stuck and we are very glad that not everything caught fire. We need to evaluate the exact cause.”

Max Verstappen didn't seem particularly concerned after the last race. The Dutchman is aware that such problems had to arise sooner or later, it is what it is. The next race in Japan will be an opportunity for him to fix things and try again to achieve victory. His impressive streak had to come to an end at some point, and it happened right in Australia.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

Max Verstappen explained that based on the data they've analyzed, they observed a problem with his right-rear brake as soon as the race started. This issue caused the brake to remain engaged, leading to damage to the car and making it feel as though he was driving with the handbrake on. 

Consequently, the car's handling became unpredictable, particularly in certain corners, which affected his performance during the race. Max Verstappen simply couldn't give his best, despite everything.

Christian Horner on Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez's performance

Christian Horner, the team principal, stressed that it's natural for a driver to feel frustrated after experiencing a retirement from the race. Despite the disappointment, Horner appreciated Verstappen's professionalism and cooperation with the team. Verstappen behaved professionally, as he has in all races so far.

He stressed the importance of analyzing the retirement to determine its causes and learn from the experience. Despite the setback of the DNF, Horner talked about Verstappen's impressive position as the current leader in the World Championship standings after three races. 

Since the first race, it has been clear to many that Verstappen could once again repeat the successes of previous seasons and win the championship. The Dutchman is the epitome of a driver who never gives up, even in the toughest of circumstances. Judging by his impressive start to this season, Verstappen could indeed claim the championship once more. It's early to make predictions, but analysis from F1 experts and the races leading up to Australia point towards it.

Christian Horner also commented on the second Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez, who wanted to go all the way but ultimately finished fifth. Horner was pleased with his pace and the moment when Perez passed Fernando Alonso. However, during those moments, he picked up a tear-off underneath the floor, which got lodged in an area causing a loss of performance. The car couldn't function at its best during those times. Horner reiterated that this last race was a huge lesson for Red Bull's leaders to correct the mistakes in the upcoming races.

Helmut Marko Max Verstappen Ferrari