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Helmut Marko

Marko delivers Red Bull blow in Norris pursuit

Red Bull were third and seventh in practice at Silverstone, with Sergio Perez well ahead of Max Verstappen

To news overview © XPBimages

Helmut Marko believes Red Bull is as much as three-tenths behind Lando Norris on pure British Grand Prix performance after Friday practice.

The McLaren driver topped both sessions on Friday at Silverstone, finishing nearly seven-tenths clear of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen down in fifth and sixth in FP2 on a track expected to suit the MCL38 package.

Red Bull was also tipped to do well, but somewhat struggled for pace, with Marko identifying the slow-speed corners as the biggest factor why the RB20 of Verstappen and Sergio Perez could not keep up with the home favourite.

"We are losing too much in the slow corners, especially in Sector 1, we are losing almost three-tenths," Marko told ORF. 

"We looked worse in first practice and in the long runs, we were not so good either. We are still good, but not at the level of Norris.

"So we still have a lot to put right here. On the other hand, the weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday is not good, so it comes down to what compromise you make.

"Will there be rain and then do you put more wing on the car? It is an interesting decision, but the move we made [between practice sesisons] was definitely not the right one, because we just went backwards.

"Even in the third sector, we lose everything in the slow corners."

Catching Norris

Motorsport advisor Marko felt that the team was walking a tightrope in extracting a set-up from its upgraded RB20, featuring a revised floor.

"It's a mix of different reasons. The car slides too much and I think it's more mechanical, but the difference is not six-tenths, but we are still behind Norris," Marko added.

"It remains to be seen if we can find the right balance to maintain our performance in the fast corners without losing much in the slow corners." 

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