Helmut Marko is overjoyed with Red Bull's qualifying at the Bahrain Grand Prix after Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton by over three tenths of a second on Saturday.
Marko has been playing down Red Bull's chances leading up to the weekend but is glad to see that his team was able to topple Mercedes on a track which Red Bull have struggled at in the past.
"It's a great relief," Marko told ServusTV. "We have been chasing after Mercedes since 2014. When you're behind, you have to risk more and more.
"We now have the advantage that we know where we stand and can concentrate on further development. This is a very important step for us but this is the only way to win a world championship, if you are competitive from the start.
It wasn't the perfect day for Red Bull as Sergio Perez failed to make it into the final part of qualifying, having set his Q2 lap time on the medium tyres.
Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll used the soft tyre compound and were able to leapfrog the Mexican driver. Marko has defended Perez's performance.
“I would say it was a mistake by the team not to send him out on the soft tyre, he was not secure," Marko concluded.