Helmut Marko has shared his concerns over Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen having close lap times during Qualifying at the Qatar GP.
Max Verstappen has failed to take pole position in the last two races. In both Brazil and Qatar, the Red Bull driver was comfortably outqualified by title rival Lewis Hamilton, who finished P1 in both.
On the other hand, Helmut Marko is more worried about how close Alpha Tauri driver Pierre Gasly’s lap times have been to those of Verstappen’s.
A puncture and a P4 finish for @PierreGASLY in qualifying
— Formula 1 (@F1) November 20, 2021
The Italian outfit was formerly known as Toro Rosso and is a sister team of Red Bull. They have been acting as a stepping stone for young drivers who come out of the Red Bull academy. However, they have never been able to match the performance of their parent team.
Gasly was just six-tenths of a second away from Verstappen at the Qatar GP. This has left Marko very disturbed because the AlphaTauri car is not supposed to be as quick as them.
“If car B is successful, everything did not go well with car Max Verstappen”
The Red Bull motorsport advisor said that his team needs to work harder to find out the issue. If Verstappen’s car performs similarly to Gasly’s, Mercedes have a massive advantage going into the last two races.
“Gasly was almost as fast in qualifying with Alpha Tauri as Verstappen with Red Bull.” Marko said. “If car B is successful, then not everything could have gone well with car A. Red Bull has to perform better in Saudi Arabia.”
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) November 16, 2021
The Austrian thinks that Verstappen has the edge over Hamilton in Saudi Arabia because of the former’s strong street circuit outings in 2021. The 24-year-old driver finished 1st in Monaco and was also on course for a dominant win in Baku before his tire failure.
“We believe in Max’s potential on urban circuits,” he explained. “He won in Monaco. In Baku he was the clear dominator before his wheel problem.”
“I think it can make a difference again.” the Red Bull chief concluded. Verstappen is just 8 points ahead of Hamilton with two races to go. F1 will make its debut in Saudi Arabia at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit next week. It will be followed by the season finale in Abu Dhabi a week later.