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Helmut Marko

Marko highlights Sprint gulf between Verstappen and Hamilton

The 2021 championship rivals finished first and second in the United States Grand Prix Sprint.

Verstappen Hamilton US
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Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko has pinpointed where Max Verstappen got the upper hand over Lewis Hamilton in the United Grand Prix Sprint.

The Dutchman emerged victorious by over nine seconds in the 19-lap event at the Circuit of the Americas despite initially having to withstand advances from Charles Leclerc's Ferrari and then Hamilton's Mercedes.

Seven-time champion Hamilton had been within DRS range for multiple laps before Verstappen stamped his authority on the event and Marko observed when speaking to Sky Sport Germany: "You saw that Hamilton pushed very hard in the first sector and I think he overloaded his tyres in the process.

"After that Max drove away at the front of the field. He controlled, was fast, and, at the same time, kind to the tyres."

Norris the main danger

Despite Hamilton finishing second and Leclerc rounding out the top three, Marko is keeping tabs on McLaren driver Lando Norris after a late-race charge against the Ferrari in the Sprint.

The Briton had been caught stuck behind Leclerc's teammate Carlos Sainz, Norris' former teammate struggling for pace as the only driver on the Soft compound Pirelli tyres.

But once he had moved past the Spaniard, Norris easily closed in the six-second gulf between himself and Leclerc, which didn't go unnoticed at Red Bull.

"When Norris was in free air during the Sprint race, he was very fast," said Marko.

"I see him as our main rival on Sunday during the Grand Prix."

F1 2023 United States Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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