Marko rules out Vettel-Verstappen driving pairing

Wed, 6 September 2023, 10:00

Sep.6 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has laughed off suggestions he might pair a returning Sebastian Vettel with Max Verstappen at Red Bull.

At present, the newly-retired four time world champion Vettel hasn’t signalled any intention to return to Formula 1 – but he also has not ruled it out.

But despite Red Bull openly wondering about Sergio Perez’s form alongside the ultra-dominant Verstappen this year, Marko ruled out a Verstappen-Vettel pairing.

“I wouldn’t put him next to Verstappen,” he smiled to Servus TV.

“At Red Bull we have contracts agreed until the end of 2024, but if Sebastian wants something, he should do it.

“Motorsport is more than just internal combustion engines and gasoline, so if he knows how to pull it off then why not?”

Marko, though, said Red Bull “already have Daniel Ricciardo” waiting in the wings for an opportunity.

“If Sebastian really wants to come back, he wants to be with a top team and win,” he added.

But despite the rumours swirling around Perez, Marko said the Mexican is “locked up” under contract for 2024.

As for Monza, he said it was “certainly one of Checo’s better weekends”.

“We know that he has problems in the qualifying sessions. He sometimes has dips in form. He is South American, after all,” Marko smiled.

“He is not as focused in his head as Max is or Sebastian was. However, his races are often good, and his race in Monza was certainly good.

“He had to overtake three people and he did everything right. He also won in Singapore last year so we are optimistic.”

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