Helmut Marko fears the Austrian GP and the sprint format

Helmut Marko, Red Bull advisor, openly spoke about the team's expectations for what lies ahead.

by Sead Dedovic
Helmut Marko fears the Austrian GP and the sprint format
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

The Austrian GP could bring a lot of unpredictability, making it difficult to give a precise answer about what we can expect from this race. Although many believe that Red Bull could dominate and take the lead, it seems that the team's leaders are not particularly optimistic about the future. 

Helmut Marko, Red Bull advisor, openly spoke about the team's expectations for what lies ahead in his Speedweek column. At the very beginning, he placed special emphasis on the last race in Spain where Verstappen won, even though he did not have an easy task.

"Max once again made the difference and took victory with a car that was not the fastest," Marko wrote, as quoted by racingnews365.

"He started on used tyres, while Lando had new ones on his car. He then pushed Max onto the grass at the start with a manoeuvre that was more than sideways. 

This opened the door for Russell, who took full advantage of the slipstream in the relatively long run-up to the first corner and took the lead."

Helmut Marko
Helmut Marko© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

Helmut Marko further pointed out that if Norris had stayed in front at the start, he believes that he would not have won the race. But the start was such that he finished third behind Russell and Max. 

Red Bull once again impressed when it came to pit stops, showing that this team does great things in every aspect. Marko was delighted, having trouble recalling the last time they messed up a pit stop. He had nothing but praise for Wheatley. A few other people within the team also received compliments from Marko.

"The tyre changes went very well, I can't remember the last time we messed up a pit-stop. All credit goes to Jonathan Wheatley and his motivated crew of mechanics. 

They are a well-coordinated and well-trained team. Hannah Schmitz also deserves praise, she always makes clear decisions."

The sprint format is not exactly what suits Red Bull, at least that has been shown lately. Helmut Marko does not know how to give the right answer regarding expectations, aware that they have encountered problems many times when it comes to this race. 

He admitted that Max Verstappen can win, but he still doesn't know what the outcome could be. 

Red Bull advisor will have one session to tune the car. He looked back at the previous weekends when they needed three practice sessions to balance the car. The experienced F1 figure is aware that if this problem continues, Red Bull will have a huge problem. 

The Austrian team is in the lead, with Max Verstappen at the helm, but McLaren and Ferrari are watching their every move, ready to dethrone them. Verstappen is so dominant that Norris and Leclerc will have a hard time dethroning Red Bull.

Helmut Marko stresses that Lando Norris is the greatest rival of this team, expecting that Mercedes could improve and spoil the plans for the second-strongest team and Ferrari. That would make Red Bull's job much easier. Once a team that fought side by side with Red Bull, it is now a shadow of what we have seen. 

Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are failing to appear at the top, although the last race in Spain shows that the German team is progressing. This arouses optimism among the leaders of Red Bull, who expect a similar performance from Mercedes in the race in Austria. 

Red Bull will have an additional motive to prove themselves in front of the home crowd and try to take the victory. This year's race will be held in a small Austrian town, Spielberg, and we do not doubt that Red Bull will have a huge turnout of fans from Austria. If they win, it would be a huge step for a repeat of last year's success. Max Verstappen is motivated and ready to crush the dreams and hopes of others.

Max Verstappen reacts

In an interview with the media, Verstappen pointed out that he is delighted to perform in Austria. The whole environment looks great, and Verstappen has no doubts that he will have huge support from the fans. Considering how great Red Bull has been in previous seasons, many expect that this event will arouse great interest among Austrians.

"We always feel really welcome and enjoy coming back to Austria, being a home race for Red Bull," he said.

"The scenery and mountains around here are great and it is always good to see the Orange Army fans here and really feel that support from the grandstand."

The Dutchman calls for caution, aware that this type of race has often been a problem for his team in the past.

Helmut Marko Red Bull