Marko ‘more than furious’ at Bottas blunder

Finley Crebolder
Helmut Marko walking through the paddock. Great Britain July 2021

Helmut Marko walking along the grid at the British Grand Prix. Great Britain July 2021

Helmut Marko says he was “more than furious” in Hungary after Valtteri Bottas’ mistake at the start damaged both Red Bull cars.

In damp conditions, Bottas braked too late going into Turn 1 on the first lap in Budapest, hitting the back of Lando Norris and sending the McLaren into Max Verstappen before the Finn himself hit Sergio Perez.

The Mexican was forced to retire as a result of the damage sustained, while the Dutchman managed to keep going but his car was in poor condition and he could only finish P9.

It was the second time in two races Red Bull had lost a huge number of potential points due to contact with a Mercedes, and Marko was far from happy about it.

“Of course I was more than furious,” he told Newstalk ZB.

“Another Mercedes driver who eliminated both of our cars. The damage to Perez’s car was enormous, the engine is broken. And with Max, we could still make the car raceable but it was absolutely uncompetitive.

“It is the second weekend in a row we have been driven off by a Mercedes car. We lost the lead in both championships, very frustrating.

“Now everyone has to do their job. To win the title you need to collect points and finish. So we have to focus on the next races.”

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At the round before the Hungarian Grand Prix, Verstappen was the favourite to win after claiming victory in sprint qualifying at Silverstone, but that was not the case in Budapest with Mercedes seeming stronger than Red Bull.

With rain falling at the start though, Marko feels the Dutchman could have won there too and is therefore ruing the loss of two potential victories.

“We were competitive in Britain and won the sprint event there. If we hadn’t been eliminated by Hamilton, we would have won. That is what our simulations indicate,” he added.

“In Hungary we were not that competitive. Max was about two tenths slower than Lewis. However, it rained at the start and Max is one of the best rain drivers, so it looked good even then.

“Then it was boom again, two Red Bull cars knocked out by a Mercedes in the first corner. So we were very competitive for two races, but it should be a fair fight and not decided by incident.”