Helmut Marko was quick to point out that even if Max Verstappen had helped Sergio Perez in Brazil, it would have been “pointless” given the Mexican driver’s result in Abu Dhabi.
Last weekend in Brazil, when he was sixth, Verstappen refused to swap positions with team-mate Sergio Perez during the race, as he was still fighting for second place in the championship. At the end of the Interlagos Grand Prix, the Mexican was tied on points with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.
On Sunday, Perez started second on the grid in Abu Dhabi just ahead of Charles Leclerc. The Mexican driver took an early lead but eventually lost his battle with the Monegasque as he was unable to make his two-stop strategy work. Charles Leclerc therefore took second place in the Grand Prix and, de facto, second place in the drivers’ standings with three points more than Sergio Perez.
“Switching positions would have been pointless”
Red Bull advisor Dr Hemult Marko explained that this meant that the controversy in Brazil did not affect the Mexican driver’s position in the standings. Indeed, had Verstappen left him sixth in Brazil, Charles Leclerc would still have had a one-point lead over Perez at the end of the Abu Dhabi race.
“It’s a shame for Perez,” said the Austrian. The Austrian told Sky Germany, “but if now the question of swapping places in Brazil came up, it would have been pointless.”
Although Red Bull missed out on the drivers’ championship double, Helmut Marko seemed satisfied with the way the final race of the season went. Max Verstappen took his 15th win of the season and Sergio Perez finished third.
“We have to be satisfied,” he said. “In fact, we did everything right in terms of strategy.”
“It was very close at the end, but Perez made a mistake in the first phase of the race, he pushed too much with his tyres and we had to pit him earlier than expected.”
“Later he tried to pass Hamilton, but he was immediately passed. This cost him 1.3 seconds.”
“We were surprised that Ferrari were able to implement the one-stop strategy with Leclerc. That’s not what we expected.”
“First and third, 17 wins, the two world titles – we are delighted,” said Marko. “Let’s see if we can do it again one day. We will try.”
READ MORE: Verstappen falls just short of Vettel’s record
Max could have backed LeClerc up to help Perez but, according to Max, that’s not the way to win… forgetting the impact of Perez doing that last year of course. Max, the gift that keeps on giving….
Such an idiot. Hindsight is 20-20. What does this grandad even add to RB? He paid to just stand around and talk shit all year round. Adds nothing to the teams performance
The fact that Verstappen’s ridiculously childish and thoroughly selfish decision to not let Perez pass him didn’t come to have any bearing on Perez’s final position is a moot point. It was the correct thing to do and for him to not do so is frankly indefensible so don’t try. Let’s not forget that Verstappen is a very well paid employee of Red Bull, one that has failed to follow a valid request. Fortunately for him he bings victories so therefore can behave how he likes. There’s not many places you can get away with gross misconduct. Not in the real world anyway.
He may have a (crazy) eye for talent but this guy’s attitude to and the way he treats others is despicable in the extreme.
This is just another bewildering episode of favouritism from the Red Bull management. The way they behave in these situations just encourages this kind of petulance from their number one drivers.
It leaves me wondering what would happen should next season Verstappen once more require assistance from Perez only for him to refuse and claim it’s because MV was a proper w**ker in Brazil last year so I’m going to return the favour? You also have to bear in mind that it’s a real possibility that Verstappen possibly wouldn’t have ended up winning last year drivers championship without the help he had from Perez.
BTW I’m a fan of neither MV or SP and have absolutely zero time for Dr. Hemult Marko.
That’s not the point Helmut. It’s about being a team player.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It provides endless excuses for previous bad behaviour!
World champion by default maybe, but f1 is a team sport so if your not prepared to be a team player then it should be verstapen out on his ear, their is no I in team he’s an awesome driver but a sulky boy