Max Verstappen is leading the Formula 1 championship and is well on his way to a second world championship title. He’s having another great season with Red Bull but before he was winning with the Austrian team, the Dutchman started out at Toro Rosso, the Red Bull junior team, now called Alpha Tauri, alongside Carlos Sainz Jr. Almost six years on from that time, Red Bull’s Helmut Marko has explained the tumultuous relationship between the two F1 drivers.
Last year Max Verstappen had an exceptional season. The Red Bull driver was competing with Lewis Hamilton for his eighth world championship title, which would have made him the record holder ahead of Michael Schumacher. The two drivers were tied on points in the last Grand Prix and were battling it out until the final lap, but in the end it was Max Verstappen who was crowned. A great first for the Dutchman who, for the moment, is well on his way to adding a second title to his list of achievements.
And now Verstappen is battling the likes of Leclerc, Perez and Sainz who apparently he did not get on well with “The atmosphere between the two at Toro Rosso was quite toxic” says Marko.
Carlos Sainz will spend two seasons at Toro Rosso. Despite all his talent, the Spaniard did not perform as well as Max Verstappen, with whom relations were not so good. Helmut Marko spoke about the atmosphere at Toro Rosso during this period saying that “It was his [Sainz’s] bad luck to have Max as a team-mate”.
“The atmosphere between the two of them at Toro Rosso was quite toxic. The setup we had at the time, I couldn’t see how we could keep Sainz with us and so he moved to Renault, McLaren and now Ferrari,
“For a long time he lived in the shadow of his father, the double world rally champion. He was unjustly negatively affected by the image of being the spoiled son of a racing driver when, on the contrary, Carlos had to fight constantly to get ahead,” he explained in and interview with The Express.
Eventually, Carlos Sainz would make his way to Ferrari. This year, Sainz is regularly battling with Max Verstappen at the front of the race and has just won his first Grand Prix. Markos’ comments make one wonder how the dynamic is behind closed doors at Ferrari.