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Red Bull Racing

Red Bull still unclear on cause of Verstappen's Bahrain problems

Despite winning the Bahrain Grand Prix, the weekend was not entirely smooth sailing for Red Bull, with Max Verstappen struggling to find the right balance with his RB19.

Helmut Marko admits that Red Bull are still unclear on what caused Max Verstappen's car balance problems during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

The team experienced issues with the RB19 on the Friday and Saturday of the event, with Verstappen admitting that the difference in the car compared to pre-season testing came as a "big shock".

Verstappen and teammate Sergio Perez overcame the problems on Sunday, having clinched a 1-2 victory for the squad, but the reason behind their earlier struggles remains a mystery, according to Marko.

Marko on Red Bull balance problems

"We do not yet have a clear picture in detail of why the balance was suddenly different," Marko told German outlet Formel1.de.

"We think it had to do with changing conditions. Maybe there was more sand on the track than during the test days.

"The new tyres are also very sensitive. Our car is also very sensitive and maybe somewhere we did something too much or too little in terms of balance."

Marko acknowledges that, despite their success in the race, Red Bull did not maximise the full weekend in Bahrain.

"When the balance is gone and understeer comes, you know Max is unhappy," the team advisor said.

"Sergio, for his part, can handle understeering cars better. That was also shown by the fact that he once set the fastest time during practice and was only a few hundredths away from Max in qualifying.

"That also shows that we have not gone in the right direction in terms of set-up. Or at least that we have not achieved what Verstappen needs."

Possible causes of issues

When asked if there is any truth to rumours that Red Bull had to raise the ride height after the test days, in order to avoid disqualification due to a floorboard that was worn down, Marko dismissed this idea.

Instead the Austrian believes that the track conditions may have been a factor in the car issues.

"No, that story is not true. We had a very balanced car during the test days and on Friday during the race weekend we suddenly had relatively a lot of understeer," Marko commented.

"However, the other teams also had that, so it must have been caused by sand, the temperature, or whatever.

"After that we found, with difficulty I must say, a set-up again that was good enough for Max to take pole and the win."

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