Jun.7 (GMM) Max Verstappen is racing Red Bull to unprecedented dominance in Formula 1, according to Dr Helmut Marko.
Despite an earlier challenge by his own teammate Sergio Perez, the back-to-back world champion raced to a more than 50-point lead over Mexican Perez with consecutive recent victories in Miami, Monaco and Barcelona.
The Austrian newspaper Osterreich told Red Bull’s Marko that the 25-year-old Dutchman appears to be ‘playing with the competition’.
“You see that in how Max did the fastest lap with old tyres,” Marko, 80, responded after the Spanish GP.
“He is, as they all say, like he’s from another planet at the moment. He has achieved a dominance that we’ve never had before.”
That is a bold statement, given that Sebastian Vettel was virtually unbeatable as he collected his four consecutive world championships between 2010 and 2013.
So for that reason, Marko said he is not being too hard on Verstappen for ignoring the team’s request to abandon pushing for the fastest lap in Barcelona.
“That’s Max – you can’t drive that out of him,” said the Austrian.
“He always has to push himself to the limit, as the warning for crossing the track limits showed. But that is what distinguishes a really great driver – he always delivers.”
However, in the Spanish GP, Mercedes appeared to be putting its flagging competitiveness in the past as both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were on the podium.
“The updates from our competitors only brought about a change,” said Marko, referring to the fact that Aston Martin was previously the closest challenger.
“But without wanting to be arrogant, they didn’t really get any closer to us, they just swapped positions. And that’s good for us again, because our lead in the world championship is increasing with every race.”
And so even Verstappen and Marko now admit that Red Bull could win every single grand prix to come on the long calendar – an unprecedented clean sweep.
“It’s possible,” Marko said. “If Max has a defect or a collision, Checo could step in – if he’s in good shape.
“But first let’s please win our 100th GP in Montreal – and then come to our Austrian GP in Spielberg.”