Helmut Marko explains why ‘Sergio Perez is two-tenths faster’ than Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi

Max Verstappen has faced quite a few issues so far at the Yas Marina F1 circuit.

Helmut Marko explains why ‘Sergio Perez is two-tenths faster’ than Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi

Max Verstappen, Helmut Marko, and Sergio Perez (via IMAGO)

The 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend is underway after yesterday’s free practice sessions. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc set the early pace but the Red Bull team adviser, Helmut Marko is much more interested in the battle between his drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez at the Yas Marina track.

Max Verstappen ended the FP2 session in P3 whereas Sergio Perez was in P5, but the latter has so far proved to be faster in Sector 1. At the end of the red-flags curtailed FP2 session, Helmut Marko was asked to dwell on the outings of his two drivers and indicated that more is to come from Verstappen.

While shedding light on the reigning world champion’s woes at Yas Marina, Marko said, as reported by racingnews365;

All in Turn 1, that's it. He has little grip at the front. It doesn't look all that bad though. In Sector 3 it's fine. In Sector 1, Perez is two-tenths of a second faster. That's where the problem lies.

Looking at the reaction of Marko, it is quite clear that he is not too worried about the problems that Max Verstappen has so far incurred around the free-flowing Yas Marina F1 circuit. Moreover, he has indicated that once Verstappen’s sector 1 issues are sorted, he would be just fine.

Max Verstappen would want to close out the 2023 campaign with a big win

While Max Verstappen has so far not felt at ease during the Abu Dhabi GP weekend, he has been nothing short of sensational this year. He pulled out a mega drive during last week’s Las Vegas GP to win the event and would be hoping for the same during the upcoming Sunday’s 58-lap race.

Max Verstappen (Credits: Imago)
Max Verstappen (Credits: Imago)

The Saturday sessions are just around the corner and considering this, the Free Practice 3 session is going to hold immense significance for Verstappen. It will be his final chance to get the balance of his RB19 sorted so that he will be able to give his maximum effort during the all-important qualifying session.

Max Verstappen has been the best driver in F1 since the dawn of the new regulations. He has won eighteen Grand Prix events this year and keeping this in view, he is going to be the favorite to triumph in the final race of the 2023 F1 season. Several eyes will be on him for the rest of the Abu Dhabi sessions.

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