Helmut Marko sends Sergio Perez ‘clear’ demand as Daniel Ricciardo lurks

Sergio Perez hasn't made it into Q3 since the Miami Grand Prix.

Last weekend’s Canadian Grand prix was a memorable one for Red Bull, as reigning World Champion Max Verstappen claimed the team’s 100th victory in Formula 1.

Chief technical officer Adrian Newey joined Verstappen on the podium to celebrate the massive achievement, whilst Newey was also celebrating the 200th victory for one of his designs.

The Canadian GP was certainly one for the record books for Red Bull, as Verstappen’s victory also marked the 41st of his career, putting him level with three-time World Champion Ayrton Senna.

It means he can surpass the legendary Brazilian next weekend at the team’s home race, the Austrian Grand Prix.

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Verstappen’s win on Sunday marked his fourth in a row and his sixth of 2023, allowing him to extend his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 69 points.

Despite winning yet again, it wasn’t the most comfortable of victories for the Dutchman, with Fernando Alonso having finished just under 10 seconds behind.

With the exception of the Australian Grand Prix, it was certainly the closest another team has come to defeating Verstappen and Red Bull, whilst Lewis Hamilton was only a further five seconds adrift.

Red Bull’s advantage is definitely starting to shrink; however, advisor Dr Helmut Marko is adamant that even if the team aren’t performing perfectly, Verstappen is still “good enough to win”.

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“We have a strong package. A good chassis, a strong engine and the best driver. Even if we don’t always have it perfect in terms of set-up, Max is good enough to win,” Marko told Dutch news outlet De Limburger.

“It is wonderful that we are travelling to our home race in Austria with a hundred victories in history as a team.

“But we also look ahead again, don’t want to stand still. And so is Max. He didn’t drive the fastest lap here in Canada either, did he!”

Whilst Verstappen was busy helping the team reach a huge milestone at the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve, Sergio Perez endured another race to forget.

The Mexican finished sixth after recovering from outside the top 10, as a result of failing to reach Q3 for the third Grand Prix in a row.

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Perez was eliminated in Q2 and failed to progress into the top-five, due to being behind both Ferrari drivers.

Marko has insisted that the 33-year-old must “get stronger in qualifying”, something which is vital given that Red Bull’s advantage is decreasing.

“More than a sixth place behind the Ferraris was not possible, but it is clear that Checo has to get stronger in qualifying,” Marko insisted.