Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Red Bull Ring, 2019

Five wins prediction “cost me in lost bets” – Marko

2020 F1 season

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Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko says his pre-season prediction the team would win five races this year has cost him in lost bets.

The team achieved three victories in 2019, its first season with new power unit supplier Honda. However Marko denied the team had under-delivered on its potential.

“I wouldn’t say that. It did cost me in lost bets that we only won three races, but we had the potential to win five if not six races.”

Speaking alongside driver Max Verstappen on Red Bull-owned television channel Servus TV, the pair identified Mexico and the USA as races the team had the potential to win. Verstappen’s three victories came in Austria, Germany and Brazil.

The team is well ahead of schedule for completing its new car for the 2020 F1 season, the RB16, Marko added.

“We are currently 14 days ahead of schedule,” he said, adding the team is using “a Dutch test rig which accommodates a complete car and runs up to 330kph in real-time to enable us to understand any mapping or other issues.”

“We have planned four weeks for that process,” he added. “So we are going into the season better prepared than ever before, with a new concept. Now we need to deliver.”

Red Bull closed the gap to rivals Mercedes and Ferrari during the course of last season. “Usually we are competitive from Spain onwards,” said Marko, “but this year it took a bit longer.

“But those are the lessons we took out of this year and next year we have no more excuses. The engine is top, Max has matured and is also top, and now we need to deliver a good chassis.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
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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31 comments on “Five wins prediction “cost me in lost bets” – Marko”

  1. Well, “five wins” sounded ambitious at the start of the year, but at the end of the season, I’d say they definitely achieved the spirit of what Marko said, though not the letter. I’m pretty sure Marko is happy to have lost these bets.

    1. indeed, they weren’t that far away from 5. Max won 3 and was really close to winning Hungary if he had a bit of help from Gasly. Maybe Mexico too based on their speed in qually and race simulations, but that was Max going back to his hot-headed driving again.

      1. Yes, and put ricciardo in the 2nd seat and you get those wins.

        1. It’s always fun to read people’s unfounded assumptions.

      2. touching HAM was because VET blocked HAM and VER had no fault there. His action on Bottas was brilliant but with an unhappy ending.
        If there is an option to pass you should use it.

    2. @phylyp Well said re ‘achieved the spirit of what Marko said.’ I know I’m absolutely chuffed with what they have done this season. Well beyond my expectations car/pu wise.

      Also, in reality Max was never ‘hot-headed’ nor had a ‘meltdown,’ as the rhetoric goes sometimes. His most arrogant moment was admitting his decision to not lift on a yellow, for being flippant about it. Masi said afterwards it was not his own admission that sunk him. They just had delays getting to his case because of other scenarios they were adjudicating, so it appears as though he was only penalized once the driver interviews were over and his commentary had been noted. But anyway that mistake cost Max, and the other moments were from racing a third place car to beyond it’s rightful place, out of necessity.

      In other words, call Max what you will for moments of his season, but know that Max himself and his team digested them in a very level headed, matter of fact way, rolled with it, and moved on, and have had far far more highs than lows this season. There would not have been a concern at any point that Max was ‘going back’ or is ‘hot headed.’ What he overwhelmingly is, is exceptional.

      1. @robbie

        I know I’m absolutely chuffed with what they have done this season. Well beyond my expectations car/pu wise.

        So they performed a lot worse than last season, but you’re chuffed. That makes sense …

    3. @phylyp The “spirit” is that they would perform better than 2018. They didnt. So I don;t feel it’s in the “spirit” at all.

      In 2018 Red Bull had 4 wins and 13 podiums. In 2019 they were down to 3 wins and 9 podiums

      1. @f1osaurus – and that difference – in my opinion – is more down to RBRs second driver than the PU. I agree that while Max hasn’t delivered as many podiums as 2018, he has delivered more wins. And I believe with a driver of Ricciardo’s caliber in the other seat, that statistical scoreline would have come out even with 2018 if not better.

        1. @phylyp Sure Ricciardo picking up the points when Verstappen had his red mist moments would have helped, but it’s more than that.

          They have been off the pace a lot more often than in 2018 too. During of 2018 they were almost always on for a podium on merit. In 2019 they were only third best car a lot more often.

          1. @f1osaurus And of course as should be no surprise you are conveniently ignoring that this was only year one of a Honda Pu married to an RBR car. So from that context they did extremely well, other than in the opinion of those who don’t care to see that or take that reality into account. And when one considers where Honda was not all that long ago, they will be beside themselves with excitement.

            Further to that, compared to 2018, RBR achieved only 2 points less in the WCC, and Max moved up a spot in the WDC to third.

            Yeah try as hard as you will to minimize their 2019 season as ‘a lot worse’ but I’m pretty sure RBR/Honda will happily take it and carry on progressing.

          2. @robbie So they performed worse.

            Again, you made a dumb remark. Just step away. Trying to prove it wasn’t dumb by a dumb argument that they didn’t score less points just makes it dumber. Ricciardo finished only half the races (or pretty much none at all after he said he was leaving Red Bull). That’s your points.

            It’s really not that difficult. Red Bull was a lot more competitive with Renault. Marko claimed they would improve. They didn’t. They preformed a lot worse.

            Yet again you claim the opposite of reality. Why? Honestly, what is wrong with you?

          3. @f1osaurus I think what is wrong with me is that I can’t find any logic to your disturbed manner of communication. You obviously can’t read, as I did not argue they scored less points. It is a fact they scored all of two fewer points this year over last. So, hardly much worse. But yeah, I’ll get to your select style of math in a minute.

            DR actually dnf’d 8 times, so, much more like a third than a half the races. And 4 were in the first half of the season and 4 were after he made his announcement. That they had much fewer dnf’s this year, shows they hardly had a much worse season this year than last, right? And how strange that DR finished none of the races at all after his announcement. Yeah there’s something factual all right, but yet I’m the one that has something wrong with me. Lol. Perhaps look it up. You might have to calm your conspiracy theories if you do. And do you think Marko was only talking about 2019? You know they are capable of continuing to improve, right, just as they did throughout the season and will continue to do so. Honda will be chuffed at the improved reliability over last year. And at the opportunity to take them higher than they ever were with Renault in the hybrid era.

            It is only natural that Gasly and Albon weren’t able to score the points that engrained veteran DR did, even with his 8 dnfs. He had 12 races to accumulate the types of points that had become the norm for him at RBR.

            I see you are still ignoring the reality of what RBR/Honda did as a first year team together. The feat they accomplished in one season together, compared to all those years RBR and Renault had together. You can conveniently give RBR DR’s points they would have had but for his dnfs, and extrapolate that to this season and claim ‘far worse’ than some theoretical fantasy points they should have had before, but you can’t possibly imagine and extrapolate for the factual challenge they had of a first year team, with newbie drivers. Nice.

          4. @robbie What is wrong with you is this dumb trying to be a special snowflake. Knock it off!

  2. With only 1 win, which can be considered to be on merit (others – were just because of circumstances), and amount of engine component changes probably “covering” several years (just this season)…

    With Aston Martin waving its wings “bye”…

    And with Honda probably doing the same in dome future…

    Mr.Marko will probably think twice before making any further bets.

    1. Should’ve won hungary and mexico too, guessing austria was considered on merit by you, brazil was also on merit, don’t see how it wasn’t! Germany was a bit of an odd one.

      1. And Germany was full on merit. The best driver on top every restart!

        1. Verstappen won in Germany because Mercedes put Hamilton on slicks just when the rain started again. It had nothing to do with restarts.

    2. The engine component usage for 2019 is sort of comical reading all in all. Out of 20 cars only 2 drivers managed to get to the end of the season inside the limits of engine component usage (hamilton and grosjean). Everybody else used more than the rules allow. Honda with toro rosso again was at the worst end followed by renaults and red bull hondas.

      The regulation and reality are quite apart from each other. On average the teams use about 50% to twice as many components as they are supposed to. The whole component limit is a bit of a joke if 18 cars out of 20 can not stay within the limits. But that is F1 nowadays. Every number is misleading. Especially when it comes down to the holy engines.

      1. @socksolid There is quite a difference between using one part extra like the Ferrari and Mercedes powered teams did. Or going for 5, 6 or 7 of the major components for Honda.

        1. There’s quite a difference between a team replacing a component out of necessity, and replacing one voluntarily out of the desire to upgrade.

          1. @robbie They didn’t have 7 different specs. Just get lost with you dumb nonsense.

  3. I understand F1 and Europe are in a different realm than US based sports but, betting for or against your own team seems a little crazy. What message gets sent down the line to employees? Drivers? Team managers? Did he bet for on one side and against to cover? When does winning at the betting overcome better judgement in the business?
    If an NFL owner is found working the odds, he is run out of the league.

  4. I think one of those bets may have been with Ricciardo. In a recent interview Ricciardo mentioned how he and Marko have a couple of side bets going on :)
    Ricciardo also said that Marko was not that surprised when he told he was off to Renault, Marko suspected he was moving on. The reason…they could agree on terms.

    1. * they could not agree on terms.

      1. @johnrkh Well since it seems now, that DR is getting a bucketload from Renault, and let’s face it he is now the face of Renault and has the team to help build around him ala all the drivers that have done so previously, I can imagine RBR not wanting to match that $…not when they have Max. DR was always going to stand a better chance of building a team around him at Renault, than at RBR.

        1. It wasn’t just the money @robbie

          DR was always going to stand a better chance of building a team around him at Renault, than at RBR.

          Funny that’s the very thing Marko & Horner offered Verstappen in 2017 which obviously blocked Riccardo of the opportunities. From that perspective there was not much of a choice, that’s one of the reasons DR made the decision he did.
          On Ricciardos words and reactions during the interview it seems he and the people at RB have a good relationship. His decision was based on business and career opportunities.
          I think Ocon will not be left in the shadows when it comes to the marketing, as an up and coming French driver in the French F1 team, he will very likely be promoted aggressively.

  5. Marko was surprisingly very accurate with his prediction. He just didn’t factor in driver meltdown.

    1. Yeah, last season they still had Ricciardo to pick up the wins where their car was best but Verstappen had his red mist moments.

      Perhaps if Ricciardo was still there they could have had those 2 wins extra and made the prediction. Ah well, that’s the detriment of running a #1 driver team.

  6. Isn’t there some kind of rule about betting on competitions in which you are a competitor?

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