Leave Marko ‘alone’ when it comes to title maths

Michelle Foster
Sergio Perez, Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen chat at the 2021 French GP.

Red Bull drivers Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen have a conversation with motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

Most wins, most podiums, by far the most laps led and yet Max Verstappen could still lose this year’s World title to Lewis Hamilton.

But don’t speak to Helmut Marko about the numbers.

This year’s championship is coming down to the final two races of this season with Verstappen arriving at the new Jeddah street circuit with an eight-point advantage over his Mercedes rival.

Five months ago, it looked as if the Drivers’ trophy was heading to Milton Keynes with Verstappen having built up a 32-point lead.

But with back-to-back crashes at the British and Hungarian races, the title race swung back in Hamilton’s favour.

Verstappen, though, has led ever since the Turkish Grand Prix, first building up a lead and then watching it shrink to eight points which is where it stands today.

And while in years gone by one could say one more win would guarantee him the title as only once in history has a driver won 10 races and not won the championship – Hamilton in 2016 – that is not the case this season.

Even if Verstappen wins in Saudi Arabia, if Hamilton finishes inside the top six the title race will continue in Abu Dhabi.

But with an eight-point lead, the advantage – at least when it comes to the sums – still rests with Verstappen.

There has been a lot of comments recently from pundits saying Verstappen, given his numbers, should already have the title in the bag.

Don’t mention that to Marko.

“Please leave me alone as far as calculations are concerned,” he told OE24.

“Or should I come back now with the 50 points Max has lost through no fault of his own?”

Mercedes 2022 driver George Russell is one of those surprised Verstappen has not yet secured the crown.

He reckons that will only add more pressure on the Dutchman’s shoulders going into the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

He told broadcaster RTBF: “I’m sure Mercedes and Lewis are probably more relaxed than Red Bull because at the moment, it’s Red Bull’s championship to lose.

“It’s clear they have the fastest car this season and it’s quite incredible Mercedes and Lewis are still in the fight because when you look at the pace, Red Bull should have had this championship already won.


“So anything can happen and it’s all very close. For sure, Red Bull have a faster car. Whether they will win is another story.”


Verstappen vs Hamilton, how close the title battle really is

The World Championship battle is closer than ever as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton look ahead to the final two races of the season.