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Marko Verstappen Bahrain Surprise

Marko Stunned by Verstappen’s Easy Bahrain GP Win

03/03/2024

In a stunning display, Max Verstappen led from start to finish in Bahrain, marking a formidable start to his title defense.

Dr. Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, confessed to being taken aback by the ease with which Max Verstappen clinched victory at the F1 season-opening Grand Prix in Bahrain.

The Dutchman led from start to finish, crossing the line a full 22 seconds ahead of teammate Sergio Perez, thus kicking off his title defense in stellar fashion.

Ferrari appeared poised to challenge Red Bull after practice sessions, but following Verstappen’s win, Marko conceded: “It was overwhelming.”

“This wasn’t what we anticipated, yet everything clicked. Max won his battle off the line and then just vanished. There’s no other way to describe it.”

“His dominance was clear as his fastest lap was two seconds quicker than anyone else’s.”

Several of Red Bull’s rivals faced overheating issues during the 57-lap event, but not Verstappen.

“Max consistently raced in clean air, so he encountered no issues. It didn’t impact his car. Sergio experienced minor spikes but nothing concerning as he was able to overtake cars swiftly.”

Pérez would have hoped to start the new season closer to Verstappen.

“Checo was managing the gap to Sainz. There was no point in pushing. Nonetheless: it was a solid result. The strategy, pit stops, were incredible.”

Marko’s Grounded Optimism

Toto Wolff was notably impressed, yet Marko remains grounded.

“I’d like to agree with him, but our Thursday and Friday results suggest otherwise. We noticed our car was more sensitive to wind than others. Then we also had issues with tire temperatures. Apart from me, no one in the team believed we’d be in pole here.”

“However, look at the race margins. Ferrari is 25 seconds behind, last year it was 50. Mercedes had overheating issues; otherwise, they’d have been quicker. So yes, it’s a great victory but not as clear-cut as last year’s. We’re continuing from the end of 2023, with everyone very close.”

Nevertheless, Marko had to acknowledge that Sunday’s outcome bodes ill for their rivals for the rest of the season.

“We’re still learning with the new car. The fact that we can already celebrate such a success should somewhat worry them. But the margin is narrower. We won’t win 24 races.”

Regarding the weekend for Red Bull being constantly overshadowed by the Horner affair, Marko concedes that “this weekend’s discussions were not pleasant.”

“We tried to focus on the sport and, thank God, it worked. We believe our strength and unity will be maintained.”

Marko Verstappen Bahrain Surprise. Marko Verstappen Bahrain Surprise

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