Red Bull boss fears for championship leader Max Verstappen’s title chances because of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes ‘rocket’ engine … after Briton’s sensational run across the field at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix
- Lewis Hamilton shot down the field to beat Max Verstappen in Brazil
- The Mercedes driver showed impressive pace and overcame the grid penalties to win
- Verstappen holds a 14-point lead over Hamilton with three races remaining.
- Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko fears about Verstappen’s chances
Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko fears the engine in Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes car will be the deciding factor in his title fight with Max Verstappen.
The seven-time world champion put in one of the best performances of his career to overcome a 25-place grid penalty over the weekend and win the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Verstappen has a 14-point lead over Hamilton with three races remaining, but Marko has claimed Red Bull could be at a disadvantage if Mercedes ‘maintains its engine advantage’.
Lewis Hamilton produced one of the best displays of his career by winning the Sao Paulo GP
The Mercedes driver showed an electric pace to overtake Max Verstappen and close the gap at the top to 14 points
As reported by Auto Motor und Sport, Marko said: ‘There were not two rockets, but one. Only Hamilton’s (car) has such an incredible surplus on the straights.
“Despite the leadership, I see us at a disadvantage if Hamilton maintains this engine advantage.”
Such was Hamilton’s pace on the day that the speed difference between him and Verstappen was reported to be 15.2 km / h at the end of the start and finish straight.
Verstappen showed exceptional pace in the tight and tricky middle sector to keep Hamilton at bay for much of the race.
Although on lap 48, Hamilton made his first serious move for the lead, leading to Verstappen sticking his elbows out and both drivers going off the road.
Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko (right) fears for Verstappen’s title chances
Marko said Hamilton’s Mercedes ‘rocket’ engine could put Red Bull at a disadvantage
Mercedes felt that Verstappen should have received a five-second penalty for taking Hamilton off the track, but the British driver eventually took the lead on a clean move on lap 59.
In a separate interview with Austrian TV station ORF, Marko discussed the Mercedes power unit with Hamilton taking a new internal combustion engine in Brazil.
“We haven’t seen an engine like that from Mercedes in recent years that I remember,” Marko said. ‘Amazing.
Verstappen, in pursuit of his first title, has a 14-point gap over seven-time champion Hamilton
And it’s just the Hamilton power unit. All others (Mercedes-powered cars) are within the normal range.
“Mercedes has done a masterpiece to conjure up such a rocket at this crucial stage. Hamilton won it on the straights.
‘Max was on average two or three tenths faster in the middle sector, he risked everything, he had to drive to the limit.
Of course, that also influenced the tires. But it was the only way not to get caught on the straights.