Helmut Marko reveals ‘alarming’ concern as Sergio Perez wanted team orders

Red Bull have now claimed three 1-2 finishes this season, following Sunday's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko seemingly had a brilliant birthday weekend, after the Austrian turned 80 last Thursday ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Marko was given an excellent gift by Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen, after the duo claimed first and third in Saturday’s sprint race, and yet another 1-2 in the main race on Sunday.

Perez was victorious in both races at the Baku City Circuit, something which saw him close to just six points behind Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship.

Verstappen was unfortunate not to win on Sunday after pitting from the lead of the race seconds before a Safety Car was required, something Perez capitalised on.

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The Mexican pitted the following lap after the Safety Car had been released, meaning he lost less time whilst pitting.

The result means that both Red Bull drivers have claimed two wins this season, suggesting that the pair will fight for the title.

With Perez and Verstappen dominating the top steps of the podium, Red Bull now lead the Constructors’ Championship by a healthy 93 points from Aston Martin.

As strong a result as it was for Red Bull, the closing laps of Sunday’s race were actually “alarming” for the Milton Keynes-based side, according to Marko.

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The Austrian shared after the race that Charles Leclerc in third and Fernando Alonso in fourth were able to match Perez’s and Verstappen’s lap times in the closing laps, meaning the Red Bull drivers had to push right until the very end.

“A one-two and a first and third place in the sprint, we are very satisfied with that,” Marko explained to ORF.

Max was unlucky with the Safety Car, and didn’t manage to find a good set-up, which cost him a lot of time, so he couldn’t get the most out of the car – and keep up with Perez.

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“A big complement to Checo, he was fast from the start and made no mistake, it was a [brilliant] race.

“But what was alarming for us was that Leclerc as well as Alonso managed to clock the same lap times as us in the last six to eight laps. We had to work hard to make sure nothing happened at the end of the race.

“We weren’t [telling the drivers to slow down, and manage the car], Sergio did ask if that was possible, but we let them drive flat out.”