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Helmut Marko

Marko refuses to rule out Verstappen clean sweep

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko isn't ruling out Max Verstappen winning all 24 races this season.

Verstappen Marko Horner Bahrein 2024
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen made the ideal start to his title defence last weekend in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, by securing a comfortable victory ahead of Sergio Perez, in what was a Red Bull 1-2 to kickstart their 2024 campaign.

The three-time World Champion started from pole position, won the race, led every lap and set the fastest lap, therefore completing the Grand Chelem. He finished a mighty 22 seconds ahead of Perez, who recovered from fifth to finish behind his teammate.

Red Bull's 2024 challenger – the RB20 – has been referred to as a 'UFO', with the Milton Keynes-based outfit having not stood still. Unsurprisingly, they have an advantage once again, as their rivals have taken inspiration from their 2024 car – the RB19.

On paper, the RB20 is better than the RB19, making life even harder for the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari, McLaren and Aston Martin.

'Step by step'

With victory in Bahrain, Red Bull are once again off to the perfect start although, according to Verstappen, the season-opener went better than initially expected, something Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko agrees with.

"I agree with that," Marko said in an interview with Motorsport Total. "After the test we thought we had a very strong package, but then we had problems on Thursday and Friday of the race weekend. On Saturday the wind died down and that helped us a lot."

A theme of last season was that Red Bull were matchable in qualifying but that their race pace was simply too strong. It appears that 2024 could follow a similar pattern.

"In the race the strengths of our car, management and things like that came out. And Max, as always, was in his own class," added Marko.

When asked if the Dutchman could win all 24 races next season, the Red Bull advisor responded cautiously but refused to rule it out.

"That would be nice!" said Marko. "But we've seen that we didn't succeed last year. We are far from there and our main goal remains to win both championships. We'll take it one step at a time."

More answers in terms of the pecking order and Red Bull's advantage will be discovered "Jeddah is a completely different circuit, with very fast corners. If we are as dominant there as we are here, then we can look to the future with optimism," Marko concluded.

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