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Helmut Marko

Marko in awe of 'crucial' Verstappen feat in Miami GP

After driving through the field from P9 on the grid, Max Verstappen's performance in the Miami Grand Prix earned words of praise from Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.

Helmut Marko has praised "tyre whisperer" Max Verstappen for his performance in the Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen started the race down in P9 on the grid but made his way through the field to claim his third victory of the 2023 F1 season, which also marked a fourth 1-2 result for Red Bull.

The Dutchman opted for a long first stint on the Hard tyre before making a pit stop on Lap 46 of the 57-lap event for the Medium compound. While Perez initially stayed ahead, Verstappen was soon able to overtake his teammate to resume the lead of the race.

Verstappen's tyre management during the race left Marko impressed.

Marko on Verstappen's 'incredible' lap times

"The crucial thing was that Max started on the Hard tyres and relatively quickly overtook the cars in front of him," Marko told Austrian broadcaster ORF.

"Both drivers paid great attention to their tyres and did not overload them. They pushed as hard as they could and so a 1-2 came out of it. Thank God we didn't get any Safety Car interruptions.

"The Hard tyres were better than people expected. Max, as we know, can set incredible lap times in extreme situations. He showed his potential there again."

Tyre options

Perez had made his pit stop on Lap 21, meaning that he had little chance of fighting back against Verstappen in the latter stages of the race, with the World Champion being on fresh rubber in comparison to Perez's older tyres.

Marko says that Red Bull had no other strategic options available for Perez, who had a difficult opening stint on the Medium tyre.

"We had to make sure he also had tyres left at the end of the race," Marko explained.

"His Medium tyres were struggling and had a high level of degradation."

With Verstappen setting the fastest lap of the race in the closing stages, Marko was again impressed by the championship leader's achievement.

"He didn't tax his Medium tyres at the beginning and you can see that with his fastest lap on the penultimate lap. A 1:29.708, an incredible time," Marko concluded.

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