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Helmut Marko still thinks Max Verstappen can win the title

Helmut Marko still thinks Max Verstappen can win the title

28-04-2019 15:44
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Nicolás Quarles van Ufford

Despite Red Bull Racing star Max Verstappen being down 36 points after the Azerbaijan Grand Prix to Formula 1 championship leader Valtteri Bottas, the Bulls' team advisor Dr Helmut Marko still thinks the Dutchman can win the title.

Verstappen qualified in fourth place at the Baku City Circuit and finished there as well on Sunday, having the fastest lap of the race for a long time as well before it got taken away from him by Charles Leclerc.

It's three P4-finishes in a row now for Verstappen after his initial podium-finish at the season opener in Australia. The 21-year-old sits in fourth place in the drivers' championship, losing out to third to Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Still, Marko thinks his star driver can mount a title challenge this season.

"Our goal is still the world title," the 76-year-old told Kronen Zeitung ahead of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

"We are still in it. Max has been sensational and so far has taken the maximum he can.

"With a new driver, we knew it would be difficult in the constructors' championship," he referred to Verstappen's new teammate Pierre Gasly.

"But Max has scored twice as many points as in the same period of the previous year."

Red Bull have been known to develop their cars very well after slow starts in recent years, which is why it is all the more encouraging that Verstappen is still competing in the opening races of the season, as Marko stated.

Looking ahead, both Red Bull and engine partner Honda have a lot of updates in the pipeline.

"We have a new engine for Baku, which has a bit more horse power, but not significantly. We have also made a small step with the chassis, and the big updates come in two weeks in Barcelona."