The two Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez fought a crazy duel for the fastest lap at the Saudi Arabian GP towards the end of the race and thus also a fight for the championship lead. The Dutchman finally decided the duel for himself. “We couldn’t control that. That’s Max,” RB motorsport consultant Helmut Marko shrugs his shoulders in an ORF interview.
“They both kept asking: Who has the fastest lap? And of course Max waited until the last moment so that Perez couldn’t counter any more,” Marko explains the tactics of the world champion. Marko: “We said: Five laps before the end, five seconds gap, it’s clear that you can’t catch up. Or if you catch up, you can’t overtake.” On the fastest lap, however, it was “clear that you couldn’t ban Max…” Verstappen: “It wasn’t easy” Sergio Perez is now only one point in the World Championship standings behind Verstappen. Two weeks ago in Bahrain, Verstappen had won ahead of Perez, but neither of them had snagged the fastest lap. Thanks to a strong race to catch up, the Dutchman moved up from 15th on the grid to second place. “It wasn’t easy to get through the whole field. I slipped around a lot in the first sector. Once I found the rhythm, it went well,” said the defending champion, happy about the podium. Red Bull only managed two double victories in a row in Formula 1 for the second time.