Marko still believes Red Bull will win five races this year

2019 Austrian Grand Prix

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Red Bull F1 consultant Helmut Marko stands by his prediction the team will win five races this year following Max Verstappen’s victory in the Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen was confirmed as the race winner following a stewards’ investigation into an incident between him and Charles Leclerc.

Marko sees the team’s performance as a vindication of his pre-season prediction for their relationship with new power unit supplier Honda.

“At the press conference in Tokyo I promised five wins,” he said, speaking before the decision was announced. “Meanwhile some people declared me crazy or whatsoever. I still believe we can achieve them.”

Verstappen started the race from second place but lost five places on lap one. “I thought ‘oh no it’s over’,” said Marko. “And then slowly Max woke up and in the end the last 30 laps was an unbelievable firework of brilliant driving.

“Also I have to say Honda gave us the 30 laps all the power we have. The tyres were staying together and I have to say we had a fantastic chassis where Max could brake and how the traction was and everything. So this win is far more exciting than if he would have done a proper start and maybe overtook just one for it.”

Verstappen’s future has been the subject of speculation following claims his lack of wins so far this year could activate an exit clause in his contract. Marko said the team “don’t want to keep Max if we can’t provide him with a winning outfit.”

“[But] that’s the aim. The aim is still to make him the youngest world champion ever.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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34 comments on “Marko still believes Red Bull will win five races this year”

  1. They were mighty around a power circuit. Meanwhile Mercedes were seriusly underperforming.

    I doubt Mercedes will drop the ball 4 more times this year. Max is looking good for #3 or even #2 in drivers championship.

    Red Bull also need a new #2 fast. I am certain there are many drivers who could stay within the same lap inlike Gasly. He was hardly faster than Kvyat in STR.

    1. Right now they’ve got nothing to lose by putting Kvyat or Albon in the car for a race or two. Swap them around, try things out. Why not? Max is special, but if Red Bull had a solid driver following him home every weekend, they’d be up with Ferrari. Gasly is costing them badly and this weekend must be the last straw; outqualified by two Alfa Romeo’s, a McLaren and a Haas, then finishing a lap behind your race-winning team-mate. Poor.

      Give Kvyat two races, if he’s at least comfortably 6th in each, then make the swap permanent.

      1. really yeah? what does gasly cost them ? a third place in WCC, ho wait they already have that.

        1. really yeah? what does gasly cost them ?

          Well.. considering that an amount of money is paid to teams per point they achieve… I’m guessing Gasly is costing them. few million already.

          Not to mention the damage he’s doing to Red Bull’s image by regularly finishing below midfield teams.

      2. @ben-n – I don’t mind them experimenting with Kvyat, they’ve already messed with him previously.

        But Albon seems to be a genuine future talent, so let him stay on at TR and groom himself patiently for the step up, not be thrust into a high-pressure team like RBR.

    2. I was going to say, I’d find his five race prediction a bit more realistic if they still had a solid pair of drivers. Wonder if his prediction was made before DR’s departure…

    3. Yes around a power circuit with 3 drs zones specially prepared for them and try to win the thing. Won’t happen in other circuits. Redbull will win 1 race this year.

      1. What about mexico, hungary? They have the potential to win several races, however they kinda need 2 drivers, ricciardo was much closer to verstappen’s competitivity level.

        1. Singapore also good.

  2. Right, now Marko has ‘unclenched’ because Verstappen can no-longer leave without paying a lot of money, now comes the reams of ‘we are the best team’ comments.

    Ever the predictable one…

    1. Max signed the contract himself…. He believed RBR was the best team to be to become DWC but it was always going to be a bit of a gamble. He knew this and so shouldn’t come back on his word imho.

      His contract is up after next year and he’ll still be only 22 then. Plenty of time to win 2 or more championships over the coming decade or longer.

  3. Singapore – maybe.

    I’m struggling to see what might the other 3 tracks be? Maybe Hungary might be a repeat, if the summer temps persist, and Mercedes can’t address their cooling issues? A wet Brazil?

    1. I think he is aiming a bit high; but its possible. Mexico and Brazil based on last years performance? Although with the long straight Ferrari must be favourite at Mexico. As you say Hungary if temps are high. And any wet race I would give him a 40% chance against Hamilton’s 60%.
      If Hamilton’s WDC trajectory continues as it is he should have the championship early; so whether he switches off after that would also impact Max’s chances.

    2. phylyp RB do well at Mexico but I can’t see 5 wins this yr. Not taking anything away from Verstappens win. Merc where just off all weekend and again Ferrari stuffed the strategy.

    3. I think they would be competitive at Mexico and Brazil base on this result and last years results. I think Red Bull probably also expects more to come from Honda after the summer break. They are obviously happy to take engine penalties for more upgrades. I would expect another Honda engine upgrade around Spa or Monza.

      1. @riptide @johnrkh @kamto – thank you – how could I forget RBR’s happy hunting grounds of Mexico? :)

        @riptide – You could but right, but I personally think Hamilton learnt from 2016 that its not good to switch off, especially with Bottas unleashing his 2.0 sporadically. He’ll want to stamp his authority on the team, especially with Schumacher’s records nearing.

        @johnrkh – I agree, I can’t speak for Mercedes being off for another race, but I think we can both agree that we can depend on Ferrari stuffing their strategy, or just their luck ;)

    4. @phylyp

      I reckon they’ll be competitive at Hungary, Singapore and Mexico as well.

  4. GtisBetter (@)
    1st July 2019, 10:14

    We only need 5 races where Mercedes has overheating trouble and at the same time both Ferrari cars either also have trouble or have some kind of strategy failure. Seems like a long shot.

    1. Well seeing as Ferrari seem to have a strategy error every race thats already one of those things taken care of. What I dont see happening os Mercedes having that many issues looking forward.

  5. With no proof whatsoever, just a feeling: Didn’t the race yesterday look staged to you? I mean, suddenly Merc is way off the pace and Hamilton doesn’t say a thing while there in 4th in no man’s land for most of the race – no pip, no whining, in peace with the world after the race. F1 was bad when it was boring but if it becomes a WWF thing it will be the end of it.

    1. Did it look staged last year too? Both Mercs out with reliability issues, and Kimi just letting Max cruise around the outside at a corner where it’s normally not possible to overtake. The whole thing is a set up!

  6. Hard to believe. Overall, they seem to be in the same place as 2018. Ferrari too. In 2018, after 9 races, they had 3 wins. Ferrari too. In 2019, after 9 races, they have 1 win. They failed to win anymore in China and Monaco. I give them 2 more wins at best, 1st being Mexico.

  7. I guess it is not a bad thing to dream…

  8. Who cares what Marko believes…

  9. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    1st July 2019, 12:02

    I’d really like to believe 5 would be possible, but I doubt it. I think they will win another, maybe two more – but not 5.

  10. Really can’t see four more wins either. Not unless Honda has something big planned and coming soon.

  11. Possible if Max keeps playing Dodgem cars ;)

  12. To be fair if they go at targetted races with this attitude of risking an engine per race with it turned up to 11 then they may very well win some more. I don’t think with Gasly in the team they have any chance of 2nd in the championship and third is practically guaranteed that they can afford to burn some races to have a few races where they can throw caution to the wind and run high power modes for extended periods.

    This will however not cut it for the future if they want to challenge for championships, it’s just masking the Honda power issues if they’re burning through 2-3 times the number of engines to get similar performance levels at a few races each year.

  13. Well I believe they have real shots at: Hungary, Singapore, Japan (if Honda updates deliver by that time), Mexico, US & Brasil. So 6 potential wins, but they have got to be absolutely effective. And the aero updates from last weekend should also be working at different circuits. Would def spice up the championship, cause I can see Ferrari pipping some of the other GP’s from Mercedes as well.

    1. Well you are going to be seriously disappointed. Mercedes are untouchable in Japan and they have already shown they have the best car so you can take away Hungary and Singapore. No chance in america either. So that leaves mexico and Brazil. Mexico with that massive straight will favour Ferrari. And Honda are going to be taking penalties shortly.

      1. Ferrari had the best engine in 2018, didn’t look stronger than red bull in mexico, did it?

  14. Ah good old redbull and its arrogance. They have no chance in winning 5 races especially with honda having to take penalties later in the season. I guess when we get back to Silverstone and everybody remembers how fast the mercedes is again redbull will be back to blaming the tyres

    1. pff aren’t you a buzzkill.

    2. Not sure if you noticed but basically verstappen started with a penalty, after such a bad start, he recovered and won, that’s red bull’s point: if pace is insane you can win from behind.

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