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Formula 1

Marko sounds alarm bells at Red Bull: It's a difficult race ahead

Helmut Marko fears that a difficult race awaits Max Verstappen and Red Bull in Qatar.

Verstappen Qatar
To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has admitted to being unhappy with the qualifying result in Qatar, after Max Verstappen was beaten to pole position by Lewis Hamilton.

But more than Verstappen's final position, it was the extent of the gap that concerned Marko, as Verstappen was beaten by almost half a second around the 80-second lap.

"The deficit is a bit alarming," Marko told Sky Sport Germany.

"We initially lost a lot in Sector 1, but we made up for it. Then we fell behind in Sector 2.

"It went back and forth. Our car has never been as fast on a single lap."

Verstappen was just a tenth slower on the first runs in Q3, before Hamilton stretched his legs at the second attempt to set fastest sector times around the whole lap.

Trying to stay positive

With Verstappen himself being quite downbeat after qualifying, but vowing to make the most of the race as he aims to defend a 14-point lead in the Drivers' Championship, Marko has said that Red Bull hope the race will play more into their hands on the higher fuel loads.

"We remain positive. Normally we do much better with a full tank, so I hope we can make it an exciting race," he said.

"Let's see what pace Lewis can drive at. It will be a difficult and tough race."

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