Red Bull were strangely off the pace during Friday practice at the Dutch Grand Prix - which Helmut Marko has put down to misunderstanding the Hard tyre. Max Verstappen lost most of FP1 at Zandvoort to a gearbox problem, with Sergio Perez facing a sizeable gap of over one second in FP2 to Charles Leclerc's pace-setting Ferrari. After crushing the field at Spa last weekend, Red Bull had played down expectations coming to Zandvoort, but a better Friday than eighth and 12th in FP2 was expected. The troubles, according to young driver boss Helmut Marko was down to the Hard tyre.
Red Bull overestimates Hard tyre
"We drastically overestimated the value of the Hard tyres," Marko explained to media including RacingNews365.com. "We felt good on those tyres, when we thought we would have not grip on those tyres." However, Marko admits this lulled Red Bull into a sense of false security, with the team struggling for balance and pace. "At the moment, we have don't have a good balance, no grip, and the tyres overheated way too quickly. "[Sergio] Perez had all those problems in first practice, but we thought it was just his Friday form. Often it is not very impressive. "The hard tyre probably won't even be used during the race - that's why we drove on it right at the start of FP1 - because we wanted to get rid of it. "We were at the front on those tyres, so we thought we were in a good position."
Work to do at home GP for Verstappen
"It means that we have to work hard again for Saturday and Sunday to get the car in the window in which it works optimally," added Marko. "At the moment we are relatively far from that. "It wasn't bad in the long run in FP2, because by then we had already adapted a few things to the car. However, the tyre wear was much too high." "Still Gianpiero Lambiase, Max's race engineer, was positive. He said he thought he knew the root causes of the problems, so I'm not worried yet." "It is clear that it is closer together here than it was in Spa. The corners are a bit slower here, we are going for the podium at least. "That would be enough for us. Both Ferrari and Mercedes could win here."