Jul.2 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko said he had to call world champion Max Verstappen’s father to discuss a recent round of criticism aimed at Red Bull bosses.
After Monaco, where 24-year-old championship leader Max’s teammate Sergio Perez won, Jos Verstappen wrote in a column on his son’s official website that Red Bull “threw away” points.
“Red Bull achieved a good result,” said former F1 driver Jos, “but at the same time exerted little influence to help Max to the front.”
Marko, the top Austrian official at Red Bull who is in charge of the energy drink owned team’s driver lineups, revealed that he called Verstappen senior to discuss the outburst.
“Jos is great and that’s why Max has come this far,” Marko, 79, told De Limburger newspaper.
“When Max came to Formula 1, at the beginning it was sometimes not easy with Jos. He had an opinion about everything – and still does, by the way,” he smiled.
Marko said the post-Monaco criticism was particularly “unhelpful”.
“It creates resentment within the team and gives your journalists something to write about,” he said.
“I called him right away – ‘What is this, Jos?’ Again, everyone can have their own opinion, including Jos. But he shouldn’t publish it on his son’s website.
“He said, ‘Yes, but I am the father’, which is fine, but don’t do it in that way.
“Anyway, Jos is Jos,” Marko insisted. He can sometimes get angry quickly and none of that is going to change.”
Marko says it’s his job to keep Max’s similar personality under control at Red Bull.
“I am the one who calls him to order,” said the former Le Mans winner. “But nowadays, I rarely have to do that. Max knows I want the best for him.
“And if I correct him, he accepts it.”
At Silverstone, Ferrari appears to have the fastest car while Mercedes is not far behind, but Marko told motorsport-magazin.com that Red Bull’s problems are “not serious”.
“We are wrong with the setup – we can’t find the balance, we have understeer and oversteer and we have no grip at all in the slow corners,” he said.
Marko said that’s why Red Bull and Verstappen aren’t getting carried away about their almost 50-point lead over top Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
“After Silverstone we’ll know more,” he said, referring to the heavily upgraded cars up and down pitlane. “We only look at ourselves.
“Our goal is therefore clear – full attack. We want to win every race. That’s the best way to defend the title.”
As for that 49-point lead over Leclerc, Marko explained: “After three races this year we were 46 points behind, now we are 46 points ahead.
“Last year we came to Silverstone with a 32-point lead, two races later we were behind,” he told Auto Bild. “This shows that you can never rest in a comfort zone in Formula 1.”