Marko takes McLaren into account: 'Only Max can keep up with them there'

Marko takes McLaren into account: 'Only Max can keep up with them there'

23-09-2023 05:51 Last update: 06:43

Max Verstappen over two tenths faster than the two McLarens in the third and final free practice session. The 25-year-old Dutchman is top favourite to clinch pole position in qualifying, but Helmut Marko is holding back. He is impressed what the two MCL60s showed at Suzuka.

After FP3, Marko talked in front of the Austrian television station's cameras: "McLaren is superior to us in the fast corners, we overtake them [again] in the slow corners. Only Max can keep up with them in first sector." The battle for the first starting spot could therefore become more exciting than many fans might expect when looking at the timesheet of the three free practice sessions.

Still, Marko thinks the RB19 will be a bit more dominant than the competition in the race. "Even with the tyres used, we are clearly better than the rest," said Marko, who thinks it will mainly be about the final podium finish (if Perez does his job) between the other teams. Nevertheless, he secretly still keeps a bit of an eye on McLaren. "Their longruns were similar to ours. If they can keep that up in the race, they will [offer serious opposition]."

No Lawson in 2024

The 80-year-old Austrian also briefly discusses the decision to pass Liam Lawson. According to Red Bull's advisor, Yuki Tsunoda has performed less consistently in recent weeks, which is why Lawson has come out on top (read: seems so good). "He [Tsunoda] was a bit unlucky, but he has incredible speed. He just needs to get a bit stronger mentally so he can control his emotional outbursts better. But he is also someone who will score points regularly."