Red Bull boss fires warning to Max Verstappen amid Charles Leclerc fight

Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has warned Max Verstappen that he must deliver 'under difficult circumstances' following his triumph in the maiden Miami Grand Prix.

Verstappen started third on the grid but quickly made a move on Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, then utilising DRS later in the race to dispatch Charles Leclerc and held onto his lead by defending against the championship leader following the safety car.

The result sees Verstappen win back-to-back races for the first time this season and, remarkably, means he's been victorious in every race he has finished this season, with three triumphs and two DNF's marking polar opposites in fortunes for him.

Verstappen's victory chips further away at Leclerc's lead at the top of the standings but Marko has warned the defending champion that there is still plenty to do, declaring he must deliver 'under difficult circumstances' if he's to retain his crown.

“We had some problems on Friday, but Saturday was back to normal. This shows that we have a world champion in our house. We can count on him and he must also be able to deliver under difficult circumstances," he told De Telegraaf.

“After the race in Australia we were more than 40 points behind, then I said it could go either way. And now there are 19. It's so close, a matter of which track suits which car best. It will be a fight between Max and Leclerc.”

Having picked up maximum points last time out in Imola, Red Bull were denied the opportunity to do the same in Miami as Sergio Perez suffered from a loss of power that meant he was unable to catch Sainz in third, which Marko admits was a disappointment.

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"That's why it's not a perfect day. We had a problem with his car with a sensor. As a result, he lost four tenths on the straight. Otherwise we would have had two cars on the podium.”

Red Bull sit just six points behind Ferrari in the Constructor's Championship heading into a crucial stage of the season, with a double-header in Barcelona and Monaco following later in May as Formula One returns to Europe.

Meanwhile, Verstappen sits just 19 points behind Leclerc in the Driver's Championship having cut his rival's lead by eight points with his victory in Miami.

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