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Amused Marko thanks Ferrari for giving Red Bull an 'easy' win

Helmut Marko has provided further reaction from the Red Bull camp after his team beat Ferrari to victory in the Austrian Grand Prix Sprint race.

Helmut Marko has jokingly thanked Ferrari for giving Red Bull an "easy" route to victory during Saturday's F1 Sprint race in Austria. Max Verstappen narrowly held onto his pole position advantage on the first lap after coming under attack from Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. As the Dutchman romped clear, his lead was only strengthened by Leclerc and Sainz going wheel-to-wheel on several occasions. Verstappen ultimately crossed the line a couple of seconds clear of Leclerc - who made up some time late on - to move further ahead in the race for the world title. "We take this with open arms," Red Bull advisor Marko smiled as he spoke to Sky Sport Germany . "Ferrari helped us because they were fighting with each other. That gave us an easy lead of two seconds."

Verstappen in control, Perez exceeds expectations

Marko was full of praise for how Verstappen handled the start, and how teammate Sergio Perez charged from 13th to fifth after his qualifying penalty. "At the start, it was tense for a moment, but Verstappen handled it well," he continued. "Perez was also super. He was careful at the beginning of the race to avoid any damage. "Fifth place is actually more than we expected. Sixth is what we calculated and it's a good starting position for the Grand Prix on Sunday." Verstappen won both races held at the Red Bull Ring in 2021, adding to wins there in 2018 and 2019.

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