Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko does not see anyone in Formula 1 who is able to compete with Max Verstappen given the Dutchman’s current form.
The reigning two-time world champion has led 224 consecutive laps since he took the lead of the 2023 Miami Grand Prix and his lead in the standings is up to 69 points over Sergio Perez. The Mexican has started to dip in form but he is still holding off Fernando Alonso for second in the championship.
Marko, despite questions over Perez’s performances, is happy with his driver lineup and believes no one in F1 could manage to match Verstappen for a whole season.
“We also take luxury problems seriously,” Marko said, as quoted by F1 Insider. “As for Perez, soberly he’s done the job we expect him to do
“He should help secure victory in the constructors’ championship and the current standings prove him right. He has also shown that he can still win races when he is at his best.
“The question of whether he is good enough does not arise for us. Because Max is getting better and better and the question you have to ask yourself is rather a different one.
“Who would be the alternative? Is there anyone who could really challenge Max right now? To be honest, I don’t see anyone there.”
AlphaTauri changes planned
Verstappen came into F1 with Red Bull’s junior team AlphaTauri, which was named Toro Rosso during his spell at the team, but Marko is not pleased with their performances so far in 2023.
Having taken over Minardi’s facility in Faenza when they entered the sport in 2006, AlphaTauri could be on the move for the first time with Marko hinting that Red Bull wants them closer to the senior team in the UK.
“We are not satisfied with AlphaTauri’s current performance, neither are they themselves,” Marko added. “But their main task is still to train our young talents so that they can take the next step.
“That worked well in the past and the current example of Yuki Tsunoda shows that it still works today, despite the still meager score.
“We hope that AlphaTauri can improve this year. And for the future it is planned that the cooperation with Red Bull Racing will be expanded – of course within the permitted framework of the regulations – in order to be able to use more resources efficiently.
“It is planned that parts of the team will go to England.”
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
The next F1 race is the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix which will be the second sprint weekend of the year, held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on June 30 to July 2.