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Helmut Marko: Hiding has passed Ricciardo

Yes.”Helmut Marko answers the question whether Max Capture is the faster Formula One driver than Daniel Ricciardo, without any detour. In an interview with “Motorsport-Total.com”, the Red Bull motor sports consultant says: “There are precise data. In qualifying, the distance to Ricciardo is greater. In the race he is also a tick faster.”

The naked numbers agree Marko. In season 2018, Verstappen won the stables with 249:170 points, with 15:5 won qualifying. This was 2017 (168:200 points, but 13:7 qualifying) and 2016 (191:220 points, 6:11 qualifying) quite different. Although these statistics are only partially meaningful because they have been distorted by many technical problems (2017 rather in the case of congestion, 2018 rather in the case of Ricciardo).

“The strange thing is: Max sometimes slides more, but still manages to keep the tires alive,” Marko explains. “The strange thing is that Max sometimes slides more, but still manages to keep the tires alive.” This has evolved. When he came to us, it wasn’t like that. In the second year, Ricciardo fell back a little. But he realized that, and then he worked most intensively with his physio and also on himself. That’s how he got back to hiding. But in the second half of the season 2018, it was clear that the situation was quite different at the beginning of the season. On Sunday night in Monaco, Ricciardo had just won his second Grand Prix, while only a third place was available for hiding until then. The Dutch was involved in numerous incidents and collisions, but seemed relatively resistant to advice. Only the training crash in Monaco, a copy of the same accident in the year 2016, led to a reflection process.

Understanding: Long list of incidents

This was urgently needed. During the season raid in Australia, a traffic accident damaged his car and did not go beyond six. In Bahrain, he crashed in qualifying and was eliminated in the race after a collision with Lewis Hamilton. In China, he lost the possible victory by a completely over-motivated maneuver against Sebastian Vettel, from way too far back in the hairpin curve.

In Azerbaijan, another collision followed a training crash, especially with teammate Ricciardo. And in Spain, he unnecessarily damaged his front wing after a safety-car phase at Lance Stroll’s Williams. But the Red Bull bosses failed to give him more serenity. Only Monaco, where Ricciardo also went to Pole, represented a turning point.

In Canada, Verstappen was then separated for the first time by Papa Jos and manager Raymond Vermeulen. Supposedly just coincidence, after all the incidents. Many believe that Marko and team leader Christian Horner took the opportunity to search for the conversation with the then 20-year-old and analyze the errors. Separated from his father, who has always raised him to be aggressive.

Marko has taken hiding to his chest

How he managed to penetrate constipations is not known in detail. But “it’s done,” Marko smiles. The basic problems were a certain lack of control and impatience. Let us take the example of Vettel in China: he should have just waited to overtake the high road. Our traction from the tires and from the chassis was so much better that he would have passed without decency.”

“This has already started with Hamilton. It’s a bit daring to overtake a Hamilton on the outside. Or take Monte Carlo: In the first two exercises Ricciardo was on the time list before him because he always had traffic. In the round in question he was almost two tenths ahead. At the swimming pool he then walked on Sainz. If you have a car in front of you, you can forget about the lap and stop right away.”

But Verstappen was so intent on showing Ricciardo who was faster that he wanted to pass Carlos Sainz’s Renault on curves and breaks in order to drive at the best time.” You don’t have to try to squeeze past. But did he,”Marko criticizes. Sainz of course also contributed his own. The two were fierce rivals at Toro Rosso. Of course it went wrong.”

After Monaco-Crash: Hiding has cried at the box

Hiding, which has been looking for its faults less with itself than with the others until then, suddenly became clear:”Max is not stupid. He was dissolved at the box in tears. This has already given him to think about,”Marko confirms.”It’s not a good idea. He’s fast enough. He doesn’t have to prove he’s the fastest. He doesn’t have to. He also has an image in a duel that it’s better not to mess with him. This fits so far.”

After Monaco, constipation seemed like an alternate: In Canada, in the absence of his entourage, he went to third place, in France he even became second and in Austria he celebrated his first season victory.” From Le Castellet, Marko praises, “he was flawless.” In the 15th races to Monaco, the only difference between the races was two, both technically. And when he saw the target flag, it was never worse than the fifth. To achieve this, Verstappen and Marko had a detailed personal conversation shortly before Christmas: “That is where we have set the line for next year,” says the Red Bull Motorsport Advisor and stresses: “I believe we have an absolute candidate for the World Cup with Verstappen. And please don’t forget: it was only 21-year-old in September!”