Helmut Marko revealed that differential problems on the race day are probably one of the main reasons why Red Bull did not manage to make the ‘step’ and concretize their pole position.
Helmut Marko admitted that the loss of a floor part on Max Verstappen’s single-seater and a system issue on Perez’s car were not the only issues Red Bull encountered in what looks like an unfortunate weekend for the Austrian team.
“In qualifying, a part flew off because [Verstappen] went too wide in a corner, (…) It made a small difference, maybe an 8% loss of downforce. The problems with the differential at the beginning of the race were much more serious. In sector one we lost up to three tenths per lap. It was the same for Pérez, by the way,” Marko said to Formel1.de.
This issue penalized both Red Bull drivers for a good part of the race, especially at the exit of turn one. It is indeed visible on video footage of the first laps of the race that Verstappen was in a great struggle to keep his car straight at the exit of turn one.
“We did not just lose grip there but it also caused wheelspin on the rears and got the tires hot,” the team manager says.
“It did not let us make that leap forward we needed at this phase of the race,” he added.
Helmut Marko also specified the team encountered some overheating problems with their engines later in the race that compelled them to run it at a lower spec.
This could explain why Max Verstappen was not able to take the win for this first Grand Prix of the 2021 season. Nevertheless, this does not overshadow the outstanding performance Mercedes had last weekend. It should nonetheless give the silver arrows some chills going on to the next Grand Prix weekend if Red Bull manages to fix these little technical issues.