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Max Verstappen

Verstappen given Red Bull upgrade boost: 'Data is promising'

Max Verstappen and Red Bull currently lead both championships by a healthy margin, and this will be welcome news.

Verstappen FP3 Canada
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen's bid for a fourth consecutive F1 title has received a considerable boost at a time when Red Bull's pursuers are gathering momentum.

Verstappen pulled off a crucial victory in Canada on Sunday as the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve was not expected to be favourable to Red Bull, allowing him to open up a 54-point lead over Ferrari's Charles Leclerc in the drivers' standings.

With Red Bull extending its advantage in the constructors' championship to 49 points after Ferrari suffered its worst weekend for two years after both cars retired, both team and driver are in a comfortable position going into F1's return to Europe and a triple-header that should suit the RB20.

Advisor Helmut Marko recognises the three races in Spain, Austria and Great Britain will likely define the second half of the season but is convinced that with what the team has in the pipeline via upgrades, it is in good shape to keep Ferrari, McLaren, and now Mercedes, at bay.

In particular, Red Bull is seeking to eradicate the issues that have become prominent this season regarding the riding of kerbs and bumps.

"We responded to it by coming to Canada with a softer base setup, but it wasn't enough," said Marko, via his Speedweek column, and despite Verstappen's win. "Although I do think we are on the right track to make quick progress on the front suspension."

Looking ahead to the triple-header, he added: "The next three races in Spain, Austria and England will give us a clearer picture of the current status of the different cars.

"These are classic circuits, while we have some atypical ones behind us [Miami, Imola, Monaco and Montreal].

"The competition has undoubtedly caught up, but we are not worried. The car continues to improve and the data is promising."

Marko also feels Red Bull's title defence quest will be aided by the fact it has three teams in pursuit, and not just one.

Mercedes returned to the fray in Montreal where George Russell secured the team's first pole position for 20 races, and seemingly had the car to score a first win in 19 months, only for the Briton to finish in changeable conditions and after making a couple of errors.

The belief inside Mercedes is the result was not a one-off, and that it will be able to challenge its rivals going forward.

Assessing the competition, Marko said: "McLaren was as strong in Canada, as it was during the previous GP weekends.

"Mercedes was stronger, but Ferrari was weak. These ups and downs can be explained by the specifics of the car and the track. As well as by who is best able to get the tyres in the best working window for each weekend and under the very special track conditions.

"This situation is a big advantage for us because the chasers are constantly chasing each other. We don't have one opponent, but three who are snatching points from each other. I hope it stays that way."

Also interesting:

Max Verstappen hit back after an out-of-sorts Monaco GP, Sergio Perez floundered again - and into a controversial retirement. How much damage can Ferrari and McLaren inflict with Red Bull fighting with one hand tied behind its back, did the Milton Keynes-based team re-sign Perez too soon? After a thoroughly entertaining Canadian GP, host Nick Golding is joined by Ian Parkes and Samuel Coop to analyse all things.

Rather watch than listen to the podcast? Click here

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