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Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Mark admits the return of chief technical officer Adrian Newey made the team realise the “difficulties” they had in terms of set-up this season. Newey had to sit out a several races this season as he recovered from a cycling accident during the summer break.
The Briton however returned ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen finished second in Istanbul, to reclaim the lead of the championship over his main title rival Lewis Hamilton.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Germany, Marko added that Newey was able to pinpoint immediately the team’s set-up issues that could have wreaked havoc in Istanbul.
“We are well positioned, but of course Newey is the figurehead,” Marko replied when asked how Newey’s prolonged absence had impacted the team.
“And his absence just from motivation is seen. In the early stages we didn’t know how serious the injury was. He had to have several operations.
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“But now he is back. He is now not fully fit, but he is there to do his job and has also immediately recognised the difficulties we had in terms of set-up.”
It’s an added boost for Red Bull as Formula One heads to Austin for the United States Grand Prix.
Hamilton holds the record for most wins around the Circuit of the Americas with six victories to his name.
To add more concerns for Red Bull, his team-mate Bottas was the most recent winner in 2019, with the 2020 race cancelled due to the global pandemic.
“We know the next race in Austin has been a Hamilton stronghold for quite a few years now,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
“But then Mexico, Brazil hopefully the higher-altitude races tended to be quite strong for us in the past.
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“They’ve [Mercedes] been very quick this weekend [in Turkey].
“The straight-line speed of Lewis, he’s like 15 to 20ks up after the kink on the straight.
“It’s phenomenal, we’ve got to find a little bit of straight-line speed.
“Maybe they were running a different downforce configuration. We’ve got some speed to find.
“We’ve got some tracks coming up that hopefully suit us but we know Austin is Hamilton territory so we’re going to have to be on our A game.
“Austin’s one of Lewis’ strongest circuits. We know he’s very, very quick around there.
“We’re fighting at it and not giving up anything. To be at this stage of the championship, leading the driver’s and still in touch in the constructors’, that’s phenomenal.
“For us, we’re loving this fight, enjoying this scrap. There’s some tracks going up where it could go either way.”
Verstappen leads the way by six points heading to the Circuit of the Americas with qualifying at 10pm on Saturday and the race getting underway at 8pm on Sunday.
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