Senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has insisted that Max Verstappen would have outqualified Pierre Gasly by two or three tenths of a second at the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix if they were both driving for Scuderia AlphaTauri.
Gasly had an exceptional qualifying for the season-opener last weekend, with him putting his AlphaTauri AT02 fifth on the grid.
However, Dr Marko has said he believes Verstappen would have been able to set an even faster lap time.
“I would say Max would have definitely gained two or three tenths in qualifying. He would have done] the time of Gasly minus two and a half tenths,” Dr Marko said this week.
“But he certainly wouldn’t have been on pole,” the Austrian added.
His remarks come a couple of weeks after Gasly opened up on what it was like to be axed by Red Bull after just racing with the team for around half a season in 2019.
In an article penned by Gasly and published in The Players’ Tribune on 22 March, the Frenchman begins by promising to tell readers the truth and says that he could feel people within the team “turn on” him as soon as he began to make mistakes.
“From the moment I made my first mistake in a car, I felt like people there slowly began to turn on me,” Gasly wrote.
“I’d had a crash in winter testing, and from that moment on the season never really got going.
“Then I had a tough first two races with Red Bull and the media just ate me up.
“Anything I said in the press was twisted into an excuse for my form, and nobody really stuck up for me.”
After having an exceptional 2020 campaign with Scuderia AlphaTauri, Gasly was snubbed by Red Bull and missed out on the second seat alongside Verstappen, with them instead opting to sign Sergio Perez as Alex Albon’s replacement.