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Max Verstappen

Marko details why Verstappen missed out on pole to Russell

Max Verstappen ended qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix in second place, setting the exact same lap time as George Russell.

Verstappen qualifying Canada
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Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has revealed where Max Verstappen missed out on taking pole position in Canada.

A closely fought battle on Saturday in Montreal saw Verstappen take second place at the end of Q3.

However, the Dutchman set the exact same lap time as George Russell - but as the Mercedes driver was the first to do so, he was awarded pole position.

Speaking to Sky Germany after the session, Marko detailed Verstappen's time loss mostly came in the final sector of the lap.

"I think we can be satisfied with this result, especially after the events in the second free practice," Marko said, referring to Verstappen's ERS problems. 

"It was about how you warm up your tyres and I think the warm-up lap in Q3 was just too fast. 

“Max lost pole position in the third sector against Russell. But we showed that we improved gradually, unlike Monaco."

Marko admits Mercedes has better straight line speed

After enjoying a strong opening portion to the 2024 campaign, Red Bull has been challenged at recent rounds by rival teams.

In Miami and Imola, it was McLaren who posed a challenge while Ferrari bested the reigning world champions in Monaco.

With Mercedes now upping its performance and going in hunt of its first win in over 18 months on Sunday, Marko anticipates getting the better of the Brackley-based squad will be a challenging task. 

"We got rid of weaknesses and I also think we have a good set-up for the race, even if it rains,” he said.

“The Mercedes is two to three kilometres per hour faster on the straights. That means overtaking is possible, but also that it won't be easy. 

“I hope our tyre wear in the race might be a little less and Max, meanwhile, can read a race very well. 

“He knows when to attack and how fast he can go without overloading the tyres. I hope we are competing at the front."

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying