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Verstappen concedes: McLaren's car now trumps Red Bull

Verstappen concedes: McLaren's car now trumps Red Bull
© Reuters
After Barcelona qualifying, Max Verstappen, the current leader of the 2024 world championship and reigning triple world champion, conceded that McLaren has now surpassed Red Bull in basic performance.

After Barcelona qualifying, Max Verstappen, the current leader of the 2024 world championship and reigning triple world champion, conceded that McLaren has now surpassed Red Bull in basic performance.

Lando Norris on Saturday narrowly beat the once-dominant Red Bull to claim pole position.

Dr Helmut Marko, an advisor for Red Bull's F1 team, had previously highlighted that the results of the Spanish Grand Prix would serve as a "benchmark" for the remainder of the world championship.

"The track has almost all types of corners, so if a car is fast there, it is also good for a world championship," Marko explained.

Therefore, the result of Saturday's P2 could serve as a "wake-up call" for Red Bull.

"I think we are pretty much very awake already with what's happening," Verstappen commented. "Yeah, we need to push on. We need to bring parts faster, better."

"I mean, we had a very dominant car last year, and I mean that's completely gone. We need to really try to make a step ahead again," he further remarked.

In Spain, Red Bull introduced only modest updates compared to the significant ones launched by their competitors. "It looks like there are more updates around us than with us, yes," Verstappen observed.

Fortunately, Verstappen hinted at a forthcoming major upgrade. "I know what's coming," he disclosed, while still leading the drivers' standings by 56 points.

"Sometimes updates turn out better than other times, so I'll just leave that open," he added.

Marko also expressed a sense of relief that Norris was only a minuscule two-hundredths of a second ahead. "After the third free practice session we were not sure whether a front row start would be possible," he told Sky Deutschland.

"It's clear that McLaren has made incredible progress over the last few race weekends and has a good car for all circuits and all tyre types," he stated.

"If we look at the long runs on Friday, McLaren is the clear favourite," he noted.

Yet, the pressing question remains if McLaren's 2024 car is truly "better" than Red Bull's.

"Better. Yes," Verstappen confirmed. "Otherwise, they wouldn't be in front of us."

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Max Verstappen during time at Spanish Grand Prix on June 22, 2024.
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