Verstappen doesn’t need to win at Zandvoort

Dr Helmut Marko says the pressure is lifting off Max Verstappen’s shoulders to target victory at every remaining grand prix in 2023.

That is because the Red Bull driver’s advantage over Charles Leclerc is now approaching 100 points, which is made even more bitter for Ferrari given the sheer dominance of Verstappen last weekend at Spa-Francorchamps.

The reigning world champion warns, however, that Belgium was an outlier.

“There is a lot more downforce required at Zandvoort so it will be more difficult for us to be dominant,” said Verstappen, 24.

“I expect Ferrari to be strong there.”

But even if Ferrari is strong, top Red Bull official Marko will not be worried.

“We have not seen such dominance by Red Bull since Vettel,” he said. “We have a big advantage now and don’t have to win every race,” the 79-year-old Austrian added.

“If we see that we can’t win, we’ll just earn points. There are eight more races ahead and I think we need to win two or three of them to feel safe.”

Dutchman Verstappen agrees.

“Of course I want a good result at home – it’s important to score points. I just want to enjoy the weekend with all the fans, it’s going to be pretty crazy.”

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz is also hoping for a weaker weekend from Red Bull.

“Zandvoort should be a better track for us,” said the Spaniard.

“After that, Monza should give the advantage to Red Bull again but we will try to win this Sunday.”

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