Helmut Marko blames Perez ‘mistake’ for Red Bull losing to Ferrari

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Helmut Marko has blamed Red Bull losing out on a one-two finish in the Formula 1 driver standings on a mistake from Sergio Perez. Red Bull had already wrapped up the constructors’ title, as well as the drivers’ crown which was won by Max Verstappen in Japan last month.

Their next and final target was for Perez to finish in behind his Dutch teammate, to cap off a truly dominant campaign. The Mexican star headed into the final race of the season level on points with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in second.

However, it was not to be for Perez as Leclerc pipped him to second in both the Grand Prix and the season standings, behind winner Verstappen. Discussing the near-miss Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko put the 32-year-old’s third place finish down to a mistake when battling with Lewis Hamilton on lap 34.

Per RacingNews365, he said: “It was very tight in the end, but Perez made a mistake in the first phase of the race: he pushed too hard with his tyres and we had to overtake him earlier than planned. Later he tried to overtake Hamilton, but was then immediately overtaken back.

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“That cost him 1.3 seconds. It could have been more exciting as a result!” Despite losing out on what would have been a first ever one-two driver finish for the Milton Keynes-based team, Marko was still upbeat after a remarkable season.

Alluding to this, he commented: “With a season like that? 17 wins and both titles? Then you should be more than satisfied.” These thoughts were also echoed by team principal Christian Horner, he told Sky Sports: “What a year.

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“To win 17 races, two sprint races, have five one-two finishes, the drivers’ championship, the constructors’ championship and come oh so close to first and second in the drivers’. It has been an amazing year for the team.

“The hard work behind the scenes, all the people you don’t get to see that have put in a herculean effort. It has been immense.”

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