Marko Names 3 Non-Red Bull Drivers That Have 'Suriprised' In 2024 So Far

F1
Thursday, 25 April 2024 at 23:15
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In his review of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, Helmut Marko reflected on some drivers outside of Red Bull Racing that surprised him positively in the first five race weekends of the season.
Helmut Marko writes a column for Speedweek.com after each race weekend of the season. In his most recent column, the 80-year-old discussed a range of topics, from Max Verstappen's performance through the unlucky Daniel Ricciardo to the proposed change in the point-scoring system.
While Red Bull's motorsport advisor tends to focus on drivers from the two Red Bull-owned teams, this time, he also took a bit of time to reflect on drivers from other teams who have made a great impression on him this year so far.
Firstly, Marko mentioned Lando Norris, who has achieved two podiums for McLaren and even finished ahead of Sergio Perez during the most recent Chinese Grand Prix.

"If we ignore the Red Bull drivers for a moment: Lando Norris makes a great impression of the other drivers, who has a clearer grip on Oscar Piastri at McLaren than last year."

Secondly, the 80-year-old highlighted the performance of Carlos Sainz, who scored three podiums and won one in four races that he attended this year. The 29-year-old is also one of the biggest candidates for the 2025 seat at Red Bull.

"Then comes Carlos Sainz, who was always ahead of Charles Leclerc at Ferrari except for China. Also, in qualifying. That surprised me. Even in qualifying, Sainz drives very aggressively and won impressively in Australia."

Lastly, the Austrian Red Bull boss couldn't forget about the 42-year-old Fernando Alonso, who recently signed a contract extension with Aston Martin and keeps delivering performances that put him among the best on the grid.

"And then, of course, Fernando Alonso, who did incredible things in the final training sessions and demonstrated his enormous duel strength in the races, as was shown once again in the duel with Pérez in Shanghai - he doesn't give up an inch."