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Marko: Nobody is getting close to Red Bull yet

Red Bull's Motorsport Advisor has provided a realistic viewpoint on the technical developments from rival teams.

Max Verstappen Spanish GP 2023 Red Bull Race
To news overview © XPBimages

Helmut Marko believes that Red Bull's lead in the Formula 1 championships has been increased by the ever-changing pecking order of their direct competitors.

Red Bull's dominant start to the 2023 season has served as a wake-up call to their nearest challengers, with Mercedes, Ferrari and Aston Martin mostly competing for the third step on the podium.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso has often been the closest challenger to the reigning champions, but the two-time World Champion is 70 points adrift of runaway championship leader Max Verstappen.

The close battle for second in the Constructors' Championship means that the 'best of the rest' accolade has constantly changing, with Mercedes becoming Red Bull's closest challengers at the Spanish Grand Prix with their heavily-updated W14 car.

Red Bull's Motorsport Advisor Marko believes that the battle between Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari has only helped the championship leaders.

"The updates of our competitors have only brought a shift [in their running order]," Marko told OE24.

"But without wanting to be arrogant: They didn't really get closer to us, they just took turns [at being second-fastest]. And that's good for us again, because our lead in the Championship is getting bigger with every race."

Marko: Verstappen 'on another planet'

Despite the early threat of a two-horse race for the Drivers' Championship, Max Verstappen has gradually fended off the early challenge from teammate Sergio Perez.

The Dutchman's Spanish Grand Prix victory means he now has a 53-point lead over Perez in the Drivers' Championship, meaning that the reigning World Champion has a points margin worth over two Grands Prix.

Whilst Verstappen has been aided by the qualifying misfortunes of his teammate, Marko heaped praise on the form of the championship leader.

"You saw how Max set the fastest lap with old tyres at the end," added Marko.

"He is, as they say, from another planet at the moment. He has achieved a superiority that we have never had before."

When asked about Verstappen's unwillingness to abort attempts for the fastest lap, Marko replied: "That's Max, you can't beat that out of him.

"He always has to go to the limit, as the warning for driving over the track limits showed. But that's the mark of a great driver: He always delivers."

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