Red Bull CEO Helmut Marko continues to believe in Max Verstappen opportunities: ‘Normally, the title would have been ours’

The Austrian takes hope from the race in Qatar, where Verstappen was the only one able to stay close to winner Lewis Hamilton. ,,Our speed was a lot better than during qualifying,” said Marko in the paddock in Doha. ,,If Max had started second, it would have been closer. Now logically he lost some time in the initial phase and had to demand more from his tires. We didn’t have the perfect set-up of the car compared to Mercedes this weekend. Hamilton got better with each session.”

Verstappen is eight points ahead of the seven-time world champion, with two games to go. ,,We are ahead, but I certainly don’t feel comfortable yet,” said Marko.

Max Verstappen's car is pushed to its place on the starting grid.

Max Verstappen’s car is pushed to its place on the starting grid.

,,We have to win one of the last two races, it’s that simple. Everything has to be perfect during a weekend. It’s only between Max and Lewis, the others are nowhere. Hamilton’s engine will no longer have as much power as last week in Brazil. Besides that, I don’t think they used their ‘special’ rear wing here, because the difference in top speed was smaller. We are not giving up.”

“If you can’t handle pressure, you’re in the wrong business”

Marko does not want to venture a prediction yet. “This year things are so often different than predicted. On paper the circuit in Brazil was our best chance, but earlier in Austin that was said about Mercedes again and we won. Max lost a lot of points in Baku, Silverstone and Budapest. Normally, the championship would have already been ours. We must fight back now. If you can’t handle pressure, you’re in the wrong business.”

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