Helmut Marko feels ‘two or three’ more wins will clinch titles for Red Bull

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen's Red Bull heading to Eau Rouge. Spa-Francorchamps August 2022.

Max Verstappen's Red Bull heading to Eau Rouge on qualifying day for the Belgian Grand Prix. Spa-Francorchamps August 2022.

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes two or three more wins will take the team and Max Verstappen to title glory.

While Ferrari has proven to be a match for Red Bull in terms of outright pace for much of the season, strategical errors, driver mistakes and poor reliability have combined to leave Ferrari seemingly now out of the title picture.

Heading into the Dutch Grand Prix, Verstappen’s home race, he holds a 98-point lead over Leclerc, who has dropped to P3 in the standings, while Red Bull now boast a buffer of 118 points over Ferrari at the top of the Constructors’.

Eight races now remain in the season, with Marko suggesting another couple of wins, at most three, should seal the deal.

 

 

“The good thing is we don’t have to win every race,” said Marko, as per Motorsportweek.com. “If we see we can’t win, okay, we go for points.

“There are still eight races to go. I believe we have to win two or three more to be safe in the Championship.”

Marko envisages qualifying being key at Zandvoort, a tight and technical track which makes overtaking rather difficult.

“At Zandvoort, you have to qualify very well,” Marko stated, “because overtaking is very difficult and you don’t know what the weather forecast is, if it’s windy, or if there’s sand on the circuit.”

But, if Verstappen is able to roll his qualifying performance from Spa into Zandvoort, then he should have little trouble leading the pack away come race day.

The Dutchman utterly dominated in Belgium, setting the fastest qualifying lap, which was over six tenths faster than Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who inherited pole due to a grid penalty for Verstappen.

Regardless though Verstappen went from P14 on the grid to winning by a margin of almost 18 seconds over team-mate Sergio Perez.

Marko was just hoping for points, Red Bull knowing a power unit change was coming that would drop Verstappen right down the order, but as it turned out, his father Jos Verstappen had predicted that the race win was on the cards for his son.

Asked if Verstappen could have even won at Spa from last on the grid, Mark replied: “I think so.

“We knew already before the break that we would change the engine here and thought, ‘okay, let’s at least try to get points’ but after the qualifying lap we thought a podium should be possible. But Jos said, ‘No, he will win’.”

Verstappen now has a few bits of Formula 1 history to potentially re-write. With eight races to go, he sits on nine wins for the season, with Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher holding the joint record for most victories in a single season with 13.

Vettel also sets the standard when it comes to most wins in succession, that being nine when he won every race after the summer break in 2013. Verstappen could potentially match that this season.

Marko says Red Bull has not seen this kind of dominance since those times with Vettel, who won four titles in succession between 2010-13, Red Bull clinching the Constructors’ titles in all of those seasons too.

But Marko argues that the competition now in this Verstappen era has been tougher than it was when Vettel was with the team.

“We haven’t seen dominance like that since then,” Marko claimed. “This time, we have strong opposition.

“With Vettel, we mainly raced against Ferrari, one year against McLaren but here we race against Ferrari and Mercedes, so we are satisfied and we are really proud.”