Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen agree on Mercedes change at Brazilian GP

Red Bull chief Helmut Marko and agree that Mercedes have made a step up in performance at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Marko claimed the Silver Arrows had a major advantage in the second sector alone which was “too much” for Red Bull to stem.

Verstappen is hoping to secure his 15th win of the season in Sao Paulo having already won his second world title. However, Marko is worried for Sergio Perez, who is embroiled in a battle with Charles Leclerc to finish as runner-up.

You are reading: Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen agree on Mercedes change at Brazilian GP

Speaking to broadcaster ORF, Marko explained: “The difference was one second in the second sector compared to Mercedes. That’s way too much. Either way, we made a mistake. Or the rest just got so much faster.

“Sergio was also unable to follow Hamilton. His soft tyres also died at the end. In any case, it did not go as we had imagined.

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Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen agree that Mercedes have closed the gap (Image: Getty / Sky Sports F1)

“We now have an extra set of soft tyres for the Grand Prix for Max, two in total, so a two-stop strategy would now work in his favour. However, we have to solve our problems in the second sector.”

Verstappen lacked pace on the medium compound with George Russell able to quickly reel in the Dutchman. The pair battled for several laps but the former Williams star eventually found his way past to start from pole in the Grand Prix.

Verstappen continued to struggle compared to the others with Carlos Sainz and eventually Lewis Hamilton getting past. Sainz’s five-place grid penalty sets up an all-Mercedes front row as the German manufacturer still targets their first victory of the season.

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Max Verstappen struggled on the medium tyres (Image: Getty)

After the race, Verstappen agreed with Marko that Mercedes had improved. According to , the reigning champion said: “They look unbeatable, but we’ll analyse everything.”

However, he also revealed the lack of pace was down to severe degradation which doesn’t bode well for the team’s chances on Sunday. Speaking moments after stepping out of the car, Verstappen added: “Really, we just had way too much degradation here today.

“We will analyse it, I am not sure if we can do a lot for tomorrow, but it can’t be worse than today. At the end of the day, when you have so much more degradation than another team, it doesn’t matter what tyre you are on.

“I think we just need to try and improve that first and normally the tyre should work.”

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