Red Bull Special Advisor Helmut Marko says Max Verstappen made life difficult for himself on his way to snatching pole position for Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix.
Despite missing much of Friday's first practice session with a gearbox issue, Verstappen edged Charles Leclerc by just 0.021 to take pole for his home race, but Marko says the Dutchman had been slightly overzealous with his tyres before his first flying lap.
"It was incredibly exciting during the last part of qualifying," Marko told Sky Deutschland.
"Max warmed up his tires too quickly prior to his first run in Q3, so that was not ideal. Fortunately, he did that well in the second run."
"Ferrari is much stronger here in Zandvoort than in Spa, but that is what we had already assumed."
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Marko challenges Perez to improve after spin
Though Verstappen claimed pole position, the Dutchman’s teammate Sergio Perez didn't have such a happy time of things, spinning at the last corner on his final run and ending up fifth, behind Verstappen, the two Ferraris and Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.
However, Marko appeared understanding of Perez's error, saying he would rather a driver push hard and crash than drive within himself.
"We would have been happier if Perez hadn't crashed at the end," said Marko.
"Max has learned to drive fast and save the car. According to our calculations, Perez would have finished in third place, but it's better that he take a risk and fly off than being stuck behind everyone."
With Perez seemingly struggling to live with Verstappen's pace across recent races, Marko laid down a marker for the Mexican.
"Perez has to perform faster and better [during practice] on Fridays," said Marko.
"But we think he can fight for second place in the Championship."
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