Marko: Verstappen and Hamilton in a league of their own

Red Bull Formula 1 advisor Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton’s fight for victory in Bahrain proved they are “in a class of their own”.

Marko: Verstappen and Hamilton in a league of their own

Verstappen and Mercedes rival Hamilton were engaged in a race-long battle for the win in F1’s season-opener, which was ultimately settled in the dying moments of the race.

Verstappen caught Hamilton in the final stint and overtook him with four laps to go, but completed the move off-track and was forced to hand back the position.

Hamilton managed to keep Verstappen behind through the remaining laps and secured victory by 0.7 seconds. Third-placed Valtteri Bottas finished a further 37 seconds behind after completing a late pit stop.

The race left the F1 paddock talking up a possible season-long scrap between Verstappen and Hamilton, with Red Bull advisor Marko believing it proved they are in a league of their own compared to the rest of the grid.

“The race clearly showed that the two are in a class of their own,” Marko told Motorsport.com’s sister publication Formel1.de in an exclusive interview. “The thing that Hamilton has over Max is incredible consistency.

“I don't know how many races he has, how many wins. You could see how he did a great job tactically, how he made line changes and so on. It was a very difficult race for Max.

“But again, they are more or less on a par with each other. Max will also be able to draw on a wealth of experience like Hamilton's at some point.”

Read Also:

Verstappen was left disappointed after the race, asking his Red Bull team over the radio upon crossing the line why it did not let him keep the position and accept a time penalty.

Verstappen felt confident he could have built a five-second gap over Hamilton with his fresher tyres to negate the penalty, but Marko believes the stewards would have adjusted the penalty accordingly.

“He caught up so drastically and Hamilton's tyres were at their end,” Marko said. “The only thing is that the five seconds wouldn't have guaranteed a win. We were convinced that the penalty would have been such that Hamilton would have won.

“If he was 5.8 seconds ahead, we would have got 10 seconds. From that point of view, staying ahead would not have helped.”

shares
comments

Related video

Ferrari: F1 engine gains may not be known for four more races

Previous article

Ferrari: F1 engine gains may not be known for four more races

Next article

F1 sprint race plan set for green light as teams agree finances

F1 sprint race plan set for green light as teams agree finances
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Max Verstappen
Author Luke Smith
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The themes to watch in F1's Imola return Prime

The themes to watch in F1's Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021