Helmut Marko: Only two drivers can match Max’s pace.

According to Helmut Marko, only two drivers on the grid can keep up with Max Verstappen.

Recently, there has been a shift in the conversation surrounding Sergio Perez’s performance at Red Bull Racing. Initially, there were discussions about his potential to win the 2023 title against his teammate, Max Verstappen. However, after only eight races, the focus has shifted to whether Perez can retain his position on the team.

Amidst Perez’s ongoing struggle to regain his previous form, Helmut Marko, known for his directness, has expressed his perspective. Marko claims that among the current drivers on the grid, there are only two individuals who can match Verstappen’s pace. Unfortunately, according to Marko, Perez does not fall into that category.

“Alonso and Hamilton could, at most, keep up with him, Marko tells OE24. “These three are simply the strongest; among them, Max stands out again.”

In reference to the growing partition between the Dutchman and his teammate, Marko simply says: “Max is Max… he’s in the best car.”

As the ‘title fight’ moves to Austria this weekend, the team is back in familiar terrain, competing on home turf. It is worth mentioning that Max Verstappen was defeated by Charles Leclerc at this identical circuit the previous year.

Nonetheless, given Verstappen’s and the RB19’s remarkable performance, as well as the issues Ferrari is presently facing, all signs point to Red Bull celebrating their 101st Grand Prix victory only two weeks after scoring their 100th.

While one might think Helmut Marko would have chosen to celebrate the team’s century of victories on home turf, he expresses real satisfaction that the milestone occurred in Canada. When considering the forthcoming weekend, the cause for this eagerness becomes clear. If either Max or Sergio wins, the Austrian national hymn, “Land der Berge, Land am Strome,” will be played during the podium ceremony. Notably, Sebastian Vettel’s first victory in China in 2009, which marked the team’s first victory, was remembered in a completely different way.

“It’s more reassuring to come to Austria with your 100th victory,” says Marko. “The national anthem will be played there for the 100th time after a Red Bull victory.

“At our first in 2009 in China, they played the Blue Danube Waltz by mistake!”