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Marko takes clear side in Verstappen and Perez duel

While Sergio Perez outscored Max Verstappen over the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko expects to see Verstappen have the edge when F1 makes its upcoming return to Miami.

Helmut Marko is backing Max Verstappen to have the edge in the championship battle with Sergio Perez as the 2023 F1 season progresses. Perez enjoyed a strong weekend at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, achieving victories in both the Sprint and main race. This enabled the Mexican to cut Verstappen's lead in the Drivers' standings down to six points. The Formula 1 circus now heads on to Miami, a race that Verstappen won when it was first held in 2022, and Marko believes that the Dutchman will be back in front of Perez at this year's event.

Marko backs 'consistent' Verstappen

"There I see Max in front again,' Marko told Austrian outlet OE24 ahead of the Miami Grand Prix. "In qualifying, as in Baku, [Charles] Leclerc could be fast, [but] the race should be ours again. And I'm sticking to my guns: over the season, Max Verstappen is the man, he's the more consistent one." Marko is comfortable with an intra-team battle unfolding between Verstappen and Perez, and does not expect that the squad will have to intervene. "In Baku they both fought for the fastest lap until the end. As long as everything stays within reasonable bounds, we won't intervene," Marko stated. "You don't have to worry about the atmosphere in the team, it's fine. "[Perez] woke up [in Azerbaijan] and Max is really stepping on the gas. "But I'm relaxed about it: As long as we are superior, such a team-internal fight is good for everyone."

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