‘Can’t Be Behind Leclerc’ In Q3, Marko Quips

Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc

Max Verstappen is aiming for “P2 minimum” from Sunday’s Miami GP, as Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez knocks on the door of his slim championship lead.

The Dutchman made a mistake on his first Q3 attempt and could not have a second attempt due to Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc’s crash.

“You just can’t go on the last lap behind Leclerc these days,” quipped Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko, referring to the mistake-prone Monegasque.

“It’s great to have Perez on pole,” the 80-year-old added, “but it’s a pity for Max. He has been three-four tenths ahead all the time.”

Even Mexican Perez, on pole, admits he has been behind Verstappen in Miami.

“I looked at Max’s data, but I just couldn’t copy what he did,” he said.

“It was my worst weekend so far (in 2023) before qualifying. I couldn’t find a balance or a line. I lacked the feeling and the confidence.

“Even the Ferrari was faster.”

But all is not lost for Verstappen, who confirmed that the seven cars between his Red Bull and teammate Perez’s should be able to be cleared.

“Yes of course,” he said. “Although there are quite a few cars between us.”

Team boss Christian Horner agreed: “Anything is possible. Max has done it before.”

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