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Why Marko expects to see a 'different Verstappen' in Australia

After delaying his arrival for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix following a stomach bug, Max Verstappen is determined to return to "maximum performance" in Australia, according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.

Helmut Marko is expecting to see a "different" Max Verstappen at the Australian Grand Prix as the Dutchman looks to bounce back from his pre-Jeddah stomach bug. Verstappen delayed his arrival into Saudi Arabia following the illness, with the World Champion missing media activities on Thursday in order to join the track action on Friday. During Saturday's qualifying, Verstappen experienced a driveshaft problem on his Red Bull which left him in P15 on the grid. He went on to work his way through the field in Sunday's race to claim P2 behind teammate Sergio Perez. While the reliability issue looked to be the main hindrance for Verstappen in Jeddah, Marko admits that the 25-year-old was not entirely at full fitness.

Marko: Verstappen doing 'everything he can' to recover

"Max was not one hundred per cent fit," Marko told German outlet F1-Insider . "But now he is doing everything he can to return to maximum performance. That's why we'll see a different Verstappen again in Australia." Red Bull had Super Formula driver Liam Lawson on standby as a possible reserve in the event of Verstappen being unable to race in Saudi Arabia. As it was, the championship leader completed the full weekend. "In the end, he was at about 80 per cent," Marko said. Much discussion arose after the race regarding the topic of the fastest lap, with Verstappen achieving the accolade after disobeying a team order to reduce his pace in the latter stages of the event. This took the quickest lap away from Perez, who voiced his hope that the situation would be reviewed following the race. On Verstappen's actions, Marko commented: "Typical Max."

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