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Helmut Marko

Marko reveals fears over Hamilton, Alonso threat

Verstappen dominated Austrian GP practice, but could he face a serious threat?

Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Helmut Marko has revealed concerns over Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso's pace in Austrian Grand Prix practice.

Championship leader Max Verstappen dominated the session by setting the fastest lap on Medium tyres having performed three successive cooldown laps on the compound.

Ferrari finished second and third courtesy of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, with Hamilton fourth for Mercedes and Alonso only eighth quickest in his Aston Martin.

But whilst one-lap pace looked strong for Red Bull and Verstappen in particular, Hamilton's average lap time over the course of his long run using Hard tyres was marginally quicker than the Dutchman's, whilst Alonso's effort was also threatening.

Hamilton and Alonso our challengers

Detailing Verstappen's unorthodox run plan at the end of the session, Marko told ORF: "We had to get the tyres back to the right temperature.

"We went for three cooling laps and that worked. I don't think it will get warmer than FP1, if the forecast is right, so that's all right."

On his concerns over race pace, Marko added: "Right now our concern, or our focus, is more on the long runs because that's where we need to get the tyre temperatures together better.

"As for qualifying, if you [consider] the two-tenths time difference between the Soft and Medium tyres, our lead is good. However, we want to be able to show that in the race as well.

"In terms of set-up, we generally went in the right direction during FP1. Looking at the long runs, again Hamilton and Alonso are our challengers."

F1 2023 Austrian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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