Verstappen could still win ‘without a front wing’

Mon, 31 July 2023, 10:00

Jul.31 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko is starting to wonder if Red Bull can complete an astonishing and unprecedented clean sweep of victories in 2023.

Max Verstappen’s championship lead over his own teammate blew out to a whopping 125 points at Spa Francorchamps on Sunday – his eighth win on the trot.

But Red Bull as a team has won every single race so far this season.

When asked if the full clean sweep is possible, Marko said after the Belgian GP: “Realistically I have to say no.

“But we already have 12 and at the beginning we said we couldn’t do that – so who knows?” the 80-year-old told DAZN.

The only real glitches for Verstappen on Sunday was a nervous moment going through the slippery Eau Rouge, another broken winning trophy, and more on-air arguments between the Dutchman and his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase.

On the latter, team boss Christian Horner says the pair’s long and trust-filled relationship is fully intact.

“The only problem is that their conversations are heard by about 200 million people,” he smiled.

So as Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez gets back in the type of form that Red Bull is happy with, it is clear that the team leader is soaring into new levels of historical F1 dominance.

“Second place behind Max is like a victory,” said Marko when asked about Perez’s P2 at Spa.

Horner joked: “I was surprised that it took Max so long to get to the front.”

Marko added: “He probably would have won from last on the grid.”

So it was another bitter pill for Red Bull’s rivals to swallow as Formula 1 now enters its summer break period.

“Last week in Budapest I had to answer why McLaren is flying and we’re stupid. Now we’re in front of them again,” said Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur.

“Our pace was good compared to Checo (Perez) as well,” he added. “But Max, without a doubt, is in another league.”

Toto Wolff, on the other hand, enters the break scratching his head about why the team’s upgrade package at Spa reunited the drivers with ‘porpoising’.

“Our tools to measure downforce over the last ten years, which have been so positive, are not working at the moment,” the Mercedes boss admitted.

As for Verstappen, Wolff added: “I think we just need to ignore him, because the second Red Bull is where we are.

“Without Max, we would have a close fight and a fantastic season.”

Former F1 driver Timo Glock told Sky Deutschland: “You’d have to say that Max could basically win if he spent the entire weekend on hard tyres.

“Or without a front wing,” he smiled.

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