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Red Bull Racing

Marko reveals Red Bull plan that helped Verstappen to victory

Early on in the French Grand Prix it looked liked Max Verstappen would be forced to fight it out with both Mercedes on his own. Sergio Perez had fallen behind, but it looks as though that was always the plan.

Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

While Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were chasing each other at the front of the field, Sergio Perez was left behind in the early stages of the French Grand Prix, though Helmut Marko says that was always part of the plan

Checo held back in order to attack later in the race, which prevented the Mercedes drivers from going for a second pit stop. It proved to be the right move in the end, as Verstappen took the chequered flag while Perez passed Bottas for third in the final laps.

"Early in the race we decided for a second pit stop for Verstappen, by leaving Perez on the track longer," Marko told Servus TV.

The Mexican came in seven and five laps later than Bottas and Hamilton respectively, and as a result his fresher tyres ensured that a second pit stop was out of the question, or at least not as straightforward for the Mercedes drivers.

This also benefited Verstappen as Perez let his teammate through without hesitation, allowing the Dutchman to take the fight to Bottas and Hamilton.

"If Perez hadn't have been open to that, we never could have done this," Marko added. "We thought we would overtake Hamilton with three laps to go, so it was really nerve-wracking.

"However the strategy, the pit stop and of course Verstappen's execution were perfect. Everything came together in the end."

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 French Grand Prix

The latest news about the French Grand Prix straight from the Paul Ricard circuit.

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