Marko still supports Pérez: ‘Checo has driven three good races this year’

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Marko still supports Pérez: 'Checo has driven three good races this year'

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko still has every confidence in Sergio Pérez. After a somewhat disappointing Grand Prix in Australia for Red Bull Racing, in which Carlos Sainz won with force majeure, rumors are going around that the Spaniard could return to his former racing team. However, Marko continues to support Pérez, but warns the Mexican to improve quickly in one area in particular.

Sainz made a big impression during the Australian Grand Prix with his race to the highest place on the podium, and Marko also noticed the Spaniard’s performance. Like the rest of the grid, the Red Bull advisor is now keeping an eye on Sainz, but he continues to support Sergio Pérez as a Red Bull driver at the moment. “Of course his form is fascinating,” Marko says about Sainz, opposite the Austrian Laola1. ‘But you have to realize that Checo (Pérez, ed.) has driven three good races this year. The fact that he fell so far back in Melbourne was due to a damaged underbody and tire degradation.’

Even though Marko Pérez appears to defend himself, the Austrian warns the Mexican driver in advance. “His only weak point is qualifying,” Marko explains. ‘If he can improve there, you don’t have to think about it (whether Pérez will be replaced, ed.). The atmosphere in the team is very good, also as far as he is concerned.’

Ricciardo’s disappointing form is a mystery

Although Marko seems to stand up for Pérez, he is less lenient towards RB driver Daniel Ricciardo. According to the Red Bull advisor, the cause of Ricciardo’s current disappointing form is also a mystery to Red Bull itself. ‘We are all puzzling over that. He is generally slower than Yuki (Tsunoda, ed.). There’s never anything right with him. That is surprising, because during the winter tests things looked very good for him. But Yuki is clearly the faster driver at the moment.’

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Marko is still puzzled by the RB drivers (Photo: Red Bull Content Pool Getty Images)

Marko is then asked whether he sees Tsunoda as the second Red Bull driver next to Max Verstappen in the future, but the Austrian has not yet made any concrete statements about this. “You should have another driver as a comparison,” Marko explains that the comparison with Ricciardo is not enough to know whether Tsunoda is good enough for Red Bull. ‘The question is: has Yuki become a high flyer or is Daniel that weak? After three races on three completely different circuits there is still no objective answer.’

Marko is not worried about GP Japan

However, Marko will first focus on this season, and especially on the next Grand Prix in Japan. Red Bull suffered from a very rare failure by Verstappen in Melbourne, but the Austrian is not afraid that this will happen again at Suzuka. ‘Max’s (Verstappen, ed.) brakes broke, the exact cause is still being investigated. But it’s not the caliper. It’s more of an installation issue, but that’s still being investigated. I’m not worried about Japan, that’s not a problem. Suzuka is a powerful circuit that suits us, Max is always great there. I am very optimistic,” said Marko.

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