Helmut Marko accuses Charles Leclerc of hampering Max Verstappen at British Grand Prix

British Grand Prix: A preview lap of the race track

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Helmut Marko has blamed Charles Leclerc for costing Max Verstappen pole at the British Grand Prix. Verstappen had set a fastest first sector and looked set to storm to a comfortable pole before Charles Leclerc spun on his final run.

The Ferrari star lost control of the car at Chapel curve as he came onto a treacherous Hangar straight. The Monegasque only had a quick 360-degree pirouette but it was enough to bring out the yellow flags.

Verstappen, who was right behind the Ferrari driver, was forced to slow in sector two and was unable to improve his time. It allowed Carlos Sainz to hold onto provisional pole to secure the first P1 start of his career.

However, it came as a shock to Verstappen who had topped the timesheets across qualifying up until the last few seconds. Speaking to Sky Sports, Marko said: “We were so dominant.

“There were yellow flags, so he had to go off the gas. That cost us pole position. We were so dominant and then something like this happens.” After qualifying, Verstappen admitted the yellow flag could have cost him a chance at beating Sainz to top spot.

He explained: “Q3 is sometimes a bit of a lottery, especially in the wet, so I couldn’t improve on my final lap as there was a yellow flag, I think that cost me pole position today. As you can see it’s all very tight at the front at the Ferraris are very strong. Team boss Christian Horner also said Red Bull was a “bit unlucky” with the yellow flags.

He admitted the team’s delta showed the Dutchman lost three or four tenths which would have been fast enough to top the times.

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However, Marko refused to write off the team’s chances of challenging for the win on Sunday. The Red Bull chief added: “Overtaking is difficult here.

“We are in second and fourth place, so from a strategic and tactical point of view, there is still a lot that can be done. I think we will at least be faster in terms of race-pace.”

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