Marko 'Very Satisfied' With Perez, But Expresses Doubts About Final Laps

Sunday, 10 March 2024 at 10:30
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Helmut Marko expressed his satisfaction with Sergio Perez's race pace following the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez started the race at Jeddah Corniche Circuit from P3 and crossed the line with a comfortable gap in P2, completing Red Bull's second consecutive one-two.
This is also the second year in a row that the team from Milton Keynes has started the season with two back-to-back one-two finishes. Since the race began, the Red Bulls have basically disappeared in front.
The only thing that allowed everyone to catch up was the safety car on lap 7, triggered by Lance Stroll. But then again, as the race restarted, the Red Bulls showed their superior pace and escaped the rest of the field. Marko told Sky Sports Germany after the race:

"The car was good on every level, the tire wear was ok, although it wasn't very nice for the spectators, but we dominated."

The end result shows the Mexican driver 13.643 seconds behind his Dutch teammate. However, that is because he was awarded a five-second penalty added to his race time after crossing the line.
Once Perez broke free from the rest of the field, he managed to match Verstappen's pace and created such a comfortable gap over Charles Leclerc in P3 that he could afford the penalty without losing a position.

"It was a good race by Perez, he overtook Leclerc relatively quickly and then he created a five-second gap. After that, he actually drove the same lap times as Max, so we are very satisfied."

While it was a well-managed race from Checo, outside circumstances could still have destroyed it, and Marko revealed he was afraid of a late safety car.
If the safety car were triggered at the end of the race, the whole field would compress. Then, the 34-year-old would not have enough time to put five seconds between him and the rest of the field and would lose several positions.

"Thank God there was no Safety Car at the end of the race, because we were still afraid of that, Ricciardo threatened to do it for a while. Otherwise we would have lost Perez's second place."