Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko admits that he had anticipated a little more calmness from Max Verstappen after his maiden championship success.
Verstappen affirmed “we want more” after qualifying behind polesitter Charles Leclerc for the Australian Grand Prix, and complained of graining during the opening stint of the race as he endeavoured to keep pace with the lightening quick Ferrari.
As a result, Dr Marko suggests that another world title may be the calming influence the Dutchman needs during races.
“He goes over the limit – he wants too much,” Dr Marko said.
“That didn’t work out here in the last sector. We thought that with the world championship title there would be some calmness from him, but he probably needs another title so that he doesn’t go into qualifying with so much pressure.”
Ultimately, the 24-year-old might not have missed out on his 14th pole position due to the lack of a fourth DRS zone at Albert Park.
The DRS zone between Turns eight and nine was abolished due to safety concerns by the FIA, but Verstappen is left querying what exactly was so unsafe about it.
“I don’t really understand why they took it away,” he said.
“It was much safer than what we do in Jeddah, for example. So it’s a bit of a mystery to me why that happened.”
Honda’s power advantage over Mercedes shone through in Saudi Arabia, and a fourth DRS zone potentially would have enhanced that. In fact, estimation suggest that Red Bull lost 6kph down the straight due to the lack of a DRS activation zone, which might have helped Red Bull overcome Ferrari.
Dr Marko points the finger at Alpine, who allegedly wanted the zone removed due to performance reasons, as their Renault power unit appears slower than the other three manufacturers.
“Alpine couldn’t drive through these sections with DRS. So they wanted to make it disappear,” he added.
“It’s strange that decisions like this are made because only one team wants it.”
Leclerc himself confirmed that the issue of “porpoising” is compounded by the DRS being open due to the greater top speeds, but Red Bull appear to have mitigated the issue better than their rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, so the removal of the DRS zone appeared to be conducive to Ferrari overcoming the Milton Keynes side in that section.
“This is definitely a disadvantage for us,” he told Sky Germany.
“We just have to see where and when we can overtake now without being immediately overtaken again.
“I just hope Leclerc can still see the world clearly after the end of the race,” he added regarding the nauseating effect the bouncing has on the drivers.
Leclerc went on to win the race by over 20 seconds as Verstappen retired from the race after a mechanical failure.