Helmut Marko warns Max Verstappen after claiming Ferrari were faster

Red Bull are targeting their 101st victory in F1 this weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko is expecting Ferrari to be a huge threat this weekend at the Austrian Grand Prix, a venue where Charles Leclerc claimed victory 12 months ago.

Leclerc beat reigning World Champion Max Verstappen to the win at Red Bull’s home race last season, something the Dutchman will likely be wanting to avoid this weekend.

If Ferrari do win at the Red Bull Ring, then it’d bring the Milton Keynes-based team’s unbeaten start to 2023 to an end.

However, Red Bull head to Spielberg full of confidence, after Verstappen claimed the team’s 100th victory in F1 at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Interestingly, Ferrari actually had the quickest car in Montreal; however, a communication breakdown by the Italians cost Leclerc and Carlos Sainz a shot at victory.

Ferrari will have addressed their communication issues ahead of the Austrian GP though, making them an even bigger threat for Red Bull.

As a result, Marko is unsure whether the Austrians will claim their 101st win in front of their home crowd this Sunday, with it seemingly depending on whether Ferrari show up with a competitive package.

“Just have to wait and see,” Marko told OE24.

Article continues below

“What went a bit wrong in Montreal: Ferrari had the fastest car. The Red Bull Ring suits them well. If Leclerc comes from the first or second row of the grid, it won’t be a great race for Max.”

If Ferrari are strong, then it’ll likely be Verstappen battling them rather than Sergio Perez, who’s currently enduring a woeful run of form.

Perez has fallen well behind Verstappen in the Drivers’ Championship over recent races, due to having not finished on the podium since Miami.

As well as that, the Mexican has failed to make Q3 in the last three races.

In comparison, Verstappen has won the last four races and has started the last three from pole position, highlighting his superiority.

READ: Ted Kravitz recalls Christian Horner encounter

Marko was asked ahead of the weekend why Perez is struggling against Verstappen, to which the 80-year-old simply admitted “Max is Max”, hinting at his phenomenal talent.

“Because Max is Max,” insisted Marko.

“He is in the best car, but even in that car only Alonso and Hamilton could keep up with him. Those three are just the strongest and Max stands out in between.”