Helmut Marko believes Verstappen would have won even if he drove McLaren or Mercedes

Verstappen set the same qualifying time as Russell and started second.

by Sead Dedovic
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Helmut Marko believes Verstappen would have won even if he drove McLaren or Mercedes
© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

Max Verstappen is a driver who has impressed the Red Bull executives, who are happy to have such a driver on their roster. Verstappen was promoted to the Austrian team as a teenager (19), and the executives clearly had expectations of him. However, few expected Verstappen to be so dominant and to become a driver who instills fear in all opposing teams. The Dutchman dominates season after season, and it seems he is close to winning another championship.

Verstappen once again impressed, this time with a win in Canada. Some were skeptical about his chances in this race, but the Dutchman silenced the critics and showed that he will once again be a serious title contender. Although Red Bull was underestimated in this race for several reasons, Verstappen is the reason why some will always believe in this team.

One of those who always believed in the Dutchman was Helmut Marko.

Red Bull's advisor Helmut Marko stresses that Max Verstappen would have won the Canadian Grand Prix even if he had been driving a McLaren or Mercedes, as the performance among the three fastest teams was so similar.

Verstappen set the same qualifying time as Russell and started second. After 20 laps, he lost his position to Norris but overtook Russell.

Although the McLaren driver built almost a ten-second lead, the safety car negated his advantage and allowed Verstappen to regain the lead. Later, McLaren left Norris on the track one lap too many on wet tires, and Verstappen was no longer threatened on his way to his sixth victory of the season.

Given that McLaren, Red Bull, and Mercedes had similar pace this weekend, strategic decisions and driver errors were decisive. Verstappen successfully avoided these, which is why Marko believes the Dutchman would have won even if he had driven for McLaren or Mercedes.

Marko stated in an interview with German media that he is certain the Dutchman would have succeeded just as well in McLaren or Ferrari.

"Only Max has the race overview and the confidence to step on the gas when necessary," he said, as quoted by pitpass.

"Apart from that, our team adopted absolutely the right strategy."

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport
 

After Red Bull opened this season with two double victories and won 21 out of 22 races last season, there was concern they might win all the races this year.

But thanks to improvements from McLaren, Ferrari, and recently Mercedes, Red Bull faces much more competition than last season.

Helmut Marko is aware that they face a tougher challenge, given that their car has several weaknesses. What can cheer the fans is the readiness of the team's management to resolve these issues as soon as possible. Even before the start of the season, they were aware that they wouldn't have the capacity to win every race. The most important thing for the Austrian team is that there is no other team dominating this season, or that can match them. Although McLaren and Ferrari are close, it seems that the last race revealed a lot.

"It won't be a clear-cut story because our car and our simulator have certain weaknesses. But we are working hard to rectify this.

We've always realised that we won't win every race. It's good for us that the others can't get any consistency. If everything goes normally for us, Max will be ahead in the race."

Helmut Marko on Sergio Perez

Marko also commented on the situation with Perez, whom the team told to continue driving to the pits after damaging his rear wing in a collision with the barriers to avoid triggering a safety car that could have put Verstappen under pressure.

A few days ago, Perez extended his contract with the Austrian team, ready to make a breakthrough. However, the last race has already caused some pessimism among the fans. Marko does not intend to go into too much detail regarding Perez and the car's damage. The most important thing for the Mexican is that the team leaders have shown their trust in him, hoping that Perez can improve his form and get into the right rhythm. The most important thing for him is the trust from the leaders.

"We're not going to discuss it anymore, we'll get over the three-place demotion.

At the time, we didn't know how serious the damage was. We couldn't see it with the camera angle we had available and we wanted Checo to continue, because anything was possible in this race. And you never know how much debris will fly off.

Others have driven around with more parts hanging off. Lewis Hamilton won once at Silverstone on three wheels."- he concluded.

Helmut Marko Mercedes
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