Dr. Helmut Marko former driver and current advisor to the Red Bull, head of Red Bull's driver development, during the Hungarian GP, Budapest 20-23 July 2023 at the Hungaroring, Formula 1 World championship 2023.

F1: Verstappen, not car, key to Red Bull dominance – Marko

(GMM) Max Verstappen is the component of Red Bull’s Formula 1 package that really makes the difference, not the car, says Dr. Helmut Marko.

That is the view of the team’s Dr Helmut Marko, who at the age of 80 is declaring that he sees no reason to step down any time soon.

#1 Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing Honda on the podium during the Austrian GP, Spielberg 29 June-2 July 2023 at the Red Bull Ring, Formula 1 World championship 2023.
#1 Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing Honda on the podium during the Austrian GP, Spielberg 29 June-2 July 2023 at the Red Bull Ring, Formula 1 World championship 2023.

“As long as I am in good mental and physical shape, and as long as they give me the opportunity to continue, I will do it,” the Austrian told motorsport-magazin.com.

“As long as I am able to make a positive contribution, I don’t feel like a lame old man.”

Indeed, with Red Bull so dominant at present, the energy drink-owned outfit would be reluctant to make any changes whatsoever.

“They are simply perfect in every discipline,” Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur said this week, “regardless of whether it’s the chassis, aerodynamics, engine, driver or strategy.

“That’s what makes the difference.”

Marko, however, doesn’t quite agree.

“Of course, we have a very good car, which we have improved compared to last year,” he said. “Our rivals Ferrari and Mercedes have been surprisingly disappointing.

“They have remained at the same level and are still struggling with a variety of problems. Our car is by far the most versatile and the fastest on the track.

“But the advantage, sometimes reaching half a minute at the finish line, is Verstappen,” Marko insisted.

#1 Max Verstappen, (NED) Oracle Red Bull Racing, Honda during the Hungarian GP, Budapest 20-23 July 2023 at the Hungaroring, Formula 1 World championship 2023.
#1 Max Verstappen, (NED) Oracle Red Bull Racing, Honda during the Hungarian GP, Budapest 20-23 July 2023 at the Hungaroring, Formula 1 World championship 2023.

“Having Max is key,” he continued. “The reason for the superiority of Red Bull is the speed of Verstappen, not the car.

“You have to compare him with Sergio Perez, who is definitely one of the five fastest drivers. And on average, Verstappen is faster by half a second – sometimes more – in qualifying.

“And in the race, the situation is the same,” Marko said.

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