Ferrari looking to beat Max Verstappen after Helmut Marko admission

Ferrari are hoping they can capitalise this weekend to take on Red Bull in Austria, ending the title-leader’s 100% win record.

Following the recent race in Canada, Ferrari is looking to capitalise on their improved performance and challenge Red Bull’s unbeaten run in the 2023 Formula 1 season at the upcoming Austrian Grand Prix.

Despite finishing behind Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, and Fernando Alonso in Canada, Ferrari showcased strong recoveries from 10th and 11th positions on the grid. 

Notably, the team demonstrated impressive race pace, successfully fending off Sergio Perez even on worn tires during the Safety Car period. 

Their performance was so impressive that Red Bull’s Helmut Marko acknowledged Ferrari as the fastest car in Montreal. 

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Marko stated: “Thank God Ferrari had to start so far back because they were actually the fastest on both compounds.”

However, it is uncertain whether Ferrari’s improved performance in Canada was a mere glimmer of hope or a sign of a true resurgence. 

The long straights and lack of high-load corners in Montreal made it challenging to get the tires up to temperature, an area where Ferrari has shown strength this season. 

Despite their underperformance in qualifying, Ferrari’s ability to quickly warm up their tires played a crucial role in their strong showing during the race.

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The upcoming Austrian Grand Prix holds some promise for Ferrari. 

It is the venue where Charles Leclerc secured his most recent victory, highlighting the team’s previous success at the circuit. 

Additionally, the return of the sprint format, which Ferrari performed well in during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, presents another opportunity for the team to shine.

Leclerc took pole position in both races during the previous sprint format event and achieved Ferrari’s sole podium finish of the season so far.

While Ferrari aims to disrupt Red Bull’s dominance, Sergio Perez has been facing a difficult period. 

The second Red Bull driver has struggled in qualifying, failing to reach Q3 in the last three races. 

READ: Toto Wolff outlines Austrian GP target for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell

His last podium finish dates back to the Miami Grand Prix in March, and he now trails teammate Verstappen by 69 points. 

Additionally, Perez is just nine points ahead of Fernando Alonso in the battle for second place. 

Perez’s historical performance during the European leg of the season has been lacklustre, and with the possibility of wet weather this weekend, it may prove to be another challenging race for the Mexican driver.