Can Verstappen be caught? Marko predicts tighter Miami race

Dr. Helmut Marko has indicated that Red Bull might face sterner competition during this weekend’s race in Miami. Despite Max Verstappen’s impressive start to the 2024 season, Marko expressed some concern over the upcoming races.

Verstappen, the triple consecutive world champion, has maintained his exceptional form, securing five pole positions and four victories across five different tracks, as detailed by Marko, Red Bull’s senior team advisor, who celebrated his 81st birthday recently. He told Speed Week, “Five weekends, five different race tracks, five pole positions for Max Verstappen, four victories. At this point we can reasonably say that we have a car that is fast on any type of track.”

Marko also mentioned the fluctuating performances of Red Bull’s primary competitors—Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes. “That pleases me,” he noted, “because it means our lead increases if someone else is always finishing behind us. We were amazed in China when Lando Norris was the second force.”

Despite these successes, Marko acknowledged some concerns, particularly with the tyre wear experienced in Melbourne. “The tyre wear in Melbourne was unusually high for us,” he explained. “So we’re fast, yes, but the track surface and the circuit can make a difference.”

Looking ahead to the races in Miami and Monaco, Marko admitted that the rivals seem to be catching up, especially in qualifying rounds. “Where our opponents could get a little closer to us are Miami and Monaco, especially as they have gotten closer to us in qualifying. I can imagine that it won’t be easy to be in pole position there,” he speculated.

He further commented on the challenging conditions expected in Miami, noting, “But I do expect us to still be competitive in Miami, even if the conditions are completely different again – warm and humid. We’ll have to see how sensitive the tyres are to changes in the conditions.”

In conclusion, Marko remained cautiously optimistic about their prospects, asserting, “We will fight for victory, but which of our pursuers has the best day will play a big role and this will continue to vary depending on the track.”

GMM

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