Red Bull senior advisor Helmut Marko feels Max Verstappen has been driving perfectly while his rival Charles Leclerc is making errors that cost him performance. The Austrian believes that his team and Ferrari are not far from each other in terms of pace and performance.
Comparing the two championship protagonists on Sky Germany, Marko said:
“We are at the same level as Ferrari. It is the track conditions and the driver that make the difference now. [Charles] Leclerc and [Max] Verstappen are in their own fight. Max drives perfectly, while Leclerc still makes small mistakes. That’s the key.”
The senior Red Bull advisor believes that Leclerc has made tiny errors, whereas Verstappen has been flawless with his driving in every race. The Dutchman has now won every race he has completed in the 2022 season, while the Monegasque driver has managed to win two out of the five races so far.
Describing Verstappen’s Miami GP performance, Marko said:
“There were two decisive moments. Firstly, that Max immediately caught hold of [Carlos] Sainz at the start. Second, he managed to follow Leclerc at just the right distance while he was putting too much strain on his tires. This resulted in the overtaking action. After that it seemed easy, until the safety car came.”
Red Bull reveal Sergio Perez was close to a DNF in Miami
Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner revealed that Sergio Perez came close to retiring from the Miami GP after he had a sensor problem during the race. The Milton Keynes chief admitted to working closely with Honda’s engine division to be able to resolve the tiny reliability issues cropping up at race weekends.
Speaking after the race to the media, Horner spoke about Perez’s race saying:
“It was very close. We had to move the sensors around to address the issue. So that’s something we will work closely with HRC [Honda’s engine division] on to try and understand and obviously make sure it doesn’t happen in the future.”
Explaining the Mexican driver’s issue in detail, Horner revealed:
“He had an issue with a sensor on one of the cylinders. The guys managed to move the sensors around, but he was down probably 20 kilowatts in power as a result. Even with the advantage of the new tyre he had, he was probably half a second off what the car was capable of in straight-line speed. And I think without that he would have probably even been P2.”
The Red Bull team is six points away from Ferrari, who currently leads the Constructors’ championship. Their retirements earlier in the season, however, cost them valuable points, which they recovered as much as they could. Their current car is definitely quicker than that of Ferrari but addressing their reliability issues is the need of the hour with a championship to fight for.