Helmut Marko dismisses rumour as he makes new claim about Mercedes and Ferrari

Max Verstappen won the 2023 Canadian GP by just under 10 seconds from Fernando Alonso.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has warned Aston Martin, Mercedes and Ferrari that the Milton Keynes-based team weren’t performing “as we should have” at the Canadian Grand Prix, quashing suggestions that the Austrians advantage has been slashed.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen won a fourth race in a row last weekend at the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve, to secure his 41st career victory in F1.

Whilst Verstappen won once again his victory was by no means a commanding one, with Fernando Alonso having finished just under 10 seconds behind.

Given that the Dutchman won in Monaco and Spain by well over 20 seconds, it led to many suggestions that Red Bull are finally being caught.

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Marko has silenced these suggestions though, with the Austrian admitting that Red Bull didn’t perform “at our best” throughout the weekend.

“Yes, they did come closer here, but we didn’t perform as we should have,” Marko told the F1 Nation podcast.

“We couldn’t bring the tyres on [to] temperature, especially the hard tyre, we couldn’t get the right temperature.

“Everybody thinks the Red Bull is fantastic. Yes, it’s a good car, but Ferrari and also Mercedes – they didn’t improve from last year; I think they reversed in the beginning of the season.

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“So, when we are not at our best, they are nearer. It’s as easy as that.”

Verstappen believes the gap wasn’t as big as usual due to having struggled with the tyres during the race, with his grip having been “disappearing very quickly”.

The low track temperatures certainly caused a few problems for drivers on the Hard compound, with firing them up having been a real challenge.

Regardless of his grip difficulties, Verstappen noted that the “most important” thing was that himself and Red Bull claimed victory once again.

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“Firstly, I expected more or less what we had today, but it was, like I said, really difficult to just keep the grip, the temperature into the tyres, because the grip was disappearing very quickly,” Verstappen said.

“That’s why maybe the gap was not that big.

“But yeah, we had a few Safety Cars here and there. But yeah, overall, we won, that’s the most important.”