Red Bull chief outlines next step for Max Verstappen to beat Lewis Hamilton in title fight

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Red Bull Formula One advisor Helmut Marko says the team are targeting winning at least two more races this season in the hope to beat Lewis Hamilton this season. After victory at the United States Grand Prix, Verstappen currently holds a 12 point lead heading into the Mexican Grand Prix, with just five races remaining in the 2021 F1 season.

With a championship that has ebbed and flowed between Verstappen and Hamilton, Marko believes there have been some pivotal moments that have hindered the Dutchman this season.

Verstappen found himself speared into the tyre barrier during the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, his tyre exploded during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, whilst leading, and in Hungary, the Red Bull driver picked up significant damage at the start of the race and never fully recovered.

“Before the last three races, we actually feared that we would be significantly behind,” Marko told Autosport.

“The bottom line is that we scored more points than Hamilton in those Grand Prix, mainly because of Hamilton’s race in Turkey where he was only fifth, while Max finished second in Sochi – certainly by luck as well, because of the rain.

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“But even more remarkable is: we innocently lost Baku, lost Silverstone, and lost Hungary. If you calculate the amount of points we lost carefully, then it’s over 50 points in those three races.

“As a result, we are only 12 points ahead now. So we have survived all those setbacks and we have also been able to match the upswing from Mercedes.

“Looking at the remaining races, I think we have to win at least two more races to be reasonably safe or, let’s say, confident going into the final race.

“The high altitude tracks of Brazil and Mexico should suit us significantly better. It’s just that so much has already happened this season.

“So-called Mercedes tracks weren’t Mercedes tracks in the end and the same goes for Red Bull tracks.

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“If we win the next two races, then it’s 60-40 for Max.”

Despite their lead, Marko had a clear goal for the team and Verstappen, as Formula One heads to Mexico, Brazil, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and then Abu Dhabi.

“It’s so balanced that the form of the day, the tarmac, and even the temperatures are extremely important,” he added.

“It looks like Mercedes is much quicker to get their car to the right set-up. We have a more complex car and on average it takes us longer to do it, but still, there are only two drivers who always get the maximum out of it. That’s Hamilton at Mercedes and Max with us.

“The number two drivers, [Sergio] Perez thank God is on the up, but also Bottas – he did a sensational race in Turkey and more than average in Austin.

“But in the end, these two exceptional drivers keep this duel going, no matter if it’s the Mercedes car or the Red Bull that is faster.

“Overall, it’s the driver who makes the difference. And those drivers are so strong that Verstappen can also beat a faster Mercedes on hard tyres.”

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