Helmut Marko has praised the atmosphere generated by the Dutch fans, as well as their behaviour, during the Austrian GP weekend and recalls the “fantastic” moment which saw them chant for the Honda engineers who powered Red Bull to victory.
Up until the race at the Red Bull Ring, Mercedes had dominated the 2019 F1 season, winning every single race. However, their run of victories came to an end after Max Verstappen’s superb performance saw him claim the flag, with Charles Leclerc in second and Valtteri Bottas in third.
It was a home race for Red Bull, and one of sorts for Verstappen, as the huge amount of Dutch fans in attendance supporting him will have made him feel right at home.
The ‘Orange Army’, as they are dubbed, were in terrific form, and impressed Marko with their support.
"The invasion of Dutch fans was incredible. It was peaceful and without any aggression. Just enthusiasm, very different from football," the Austrian said to Motorsport.com.
"For example, I was in front of the pit box with the people of Honda. When I pushed them forward, the audience chanted ‘Honda, Honda.’
“It was a fantastic moment."
During the race, Verstappen pulled off a superb comeback, as he dropped down to eighth position after a stalled start, only to overtake Leclerc with two laps remaining to win.
It was hailed as one of the best comebacks of recent years, and Marko has recalled some others which also impressed him.
"Verstappen has had such a catch-up race before," the Red Bull advisor added.
"In Austin 2017, when he was finally taken off the podium because of catching up with ]Kimi] Raikkonen on the inside. And [Sebastian] Vettel also showed a great comeback in Brazil 2012 when he was tapped around by Bruno Senna and afterward worked through the field."
"Then both Mercedes dropped out. Although we were faster at the time, it didn't look so good [on our own strength.] This year we caught up with our rivals on the circuit.
“The most extraordinary thing is that the start failed. Max was seventh after the first lap. Normally it is impossible to make up for that on a circuit like the Red Bull Ring."
The victory was Honda's first in F1 for 13 years as an engine provider.
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.