Marko not impressed with Max

Verstappen should know he is a talented driver but he is not the only one.


There are very few things that unite the paddock and, the talent that Max Verstappen has is one such thing.

Since the time he has entered the Formula One, driving for Scuderia Toro Rosso, he has impressed the F1 community. His ability won him so much praise that he was controversially elevated to the senior team, Red Bull, mid season. He responded this elevation with a race victory at Barcelona in 2016 and became the youngest driver to do so.

While in Barcelona his win came after Mercedes duo collided in the first lap. It could be argued that the race strategy by Red Bull favoured the youngster in his first race for team, but let’s not take anything away from him, he got the job done. He also impressed everyone later that season with his race craft in rain affected Brazilian Grand Prix. He started 14th on the grid, drove aggressively taking a different line than others, making unbelievable overtakes. He also overtook Nico Rosberg in a championship winning Mercedes. Only Lewis Hamilton was the only opponent he didn’t overtake that race. Ultimately he finished third, but showed why he was potential World Champion material.

His ability, race craft and, his talent was awarded with an extension of contract with Red Bull till 2020 ahead of his team mate and senior driver Daniel Ricciardo.

But Formula One is a brutal sport, one mistake and it can put your career on a downhill without giving you any opportunity to get back up, Danill Kyvat; case in point. The 2018 season has been disastrous for Verstappen and it’s difficult to assign blame anywhere apart from the young Dutchman. He’s made mistakes in every single Grand Prix this season, all have been disastrously costly, except in Spain where he managed to finish on the podium despite colliding with a Williams behind the safety car.

What is more glaring is that he is not learning from those mistakes. The mistake he made in the final practice of Monaco Grand Prix was exactly the same mistake at he made in 2016 at the same circuit.

Even though he keeps saying that he doesn’t need to change anything about the way he drives, sooner or later he is going to find out that’s not the correct approach. He has been criticised severely for moving too much under braking while defending. Those criticisms were valid. In Baku this year his style cost his team double DNF. Even though he was not penalised but almost everyone was of the opinion that he was mostly the driver at fault; Niki lauda assigned 70% of fault to him.

Verstappen has to understand that he is the talented driver but he is not the only one. Arrogance is a virtue of most drivers but lacking respect for your fellow drivers on circuit doesn’t bode well for a long, fruitful F1 career. There are other young drivers on the grid the paddock are impressed with. Charles Leclerc, for example, is getting all the praise and he has won accolades from the both Four time World Champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel during the Monaco Drivers presser.

Yes, every one wants to win races but showing such levels of desperation to win is not the way forward for any new driver, let alone one of 3 seasons of racing. Verstappen has been on the grid long enough to know what each race demands. He has to shed the tag of ‘young’ and it’s time for him to show some maturity, and wins will come.

But one cannot help but start to think, if he keeps on making those errors, it will be end of road for him. Dr Marko will ensure that happens, contract or not.

13 responses to “Marko not impressed with Max

  1. I was surprised and pleased with the honest comments from both Horner and Marko after Monaco. Finally there was respect for Danny while there was some honest assessments of their other driver.

    ‘Asked whether he felt this (practice) error would finally drive it home to Verstappen that he needed to find a way to calm down, Horner said: “I hope so. I don’t know what else will.”‘

    ‘Max Verstappen’s Monaco Grand Prix practice crash was “unnecessary” and caused by impatience, Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko says.’

    I want to see this “favoured driver” status of the “latest new young prince” phased out. A driver is as good as their driving… and their finishing races.

  2. Yeah but Nico rosberg wasn’t so good in the rain, although that brasil one was one of his better races, and max only drove those lines after the team told him Nico Hulkenberg(this Nico is an excellent rain driver) is doing them, and maybe he should give it a go too.
    People often overlook that last fact. When it is quite essential to the story.

    • Verstappen is on the cusp of turning into another Andrea de Cesaris – and once you get that label it will be near impossible to change people’s perception. I also have the impression that Verstappen assumed that Ricciardo would leave Red Bull, making him the clear number one. I have the sense now that Ricciardo will stay and Verstappen is having trouble living up to his hype while Ricciardo wins races.

      • I wonder if in the negotiations between Red Bull and Honda they also discuss the line-up. Honda was 4 years ago very keen on getting a world champion, don’t know if they still have that wish. With a Red Bull 1-2 in Monaco RB could have cut that discussion short.

    • Everyone and their mother said after brasil that this was rain driving like they teach you at all levels. Somehow in F1 nobody remembered that?
      Don’t know the Hulk story.

      On topic: Max drove a mature race in Monaco with margin, so I hope this is the turn around and he wont become Jos

      • Agree. That’s why it’s good that both Marko and Horner were so negative and firm with max. I feel his entourage blows a bit too much smoke up his ass. Imo making mistakes isn’t bad. As long as you learn from them. But when people convince you that you shouldn’t change after said mistakes I feel like that is the wrong approach.

        • I agree. I think there are two things at work. The first is that his “posse” are telling him he’s the greatest F1 driver since Senna – so don’t change what you do. The second is he’s a know quantity now and the top drivers have figured him out, and those F3 moves he once made don’t work anymore as Vettel, Hamilton, etc know what he’s going to do.

  3. There’s no doubting Verstappen has raw talent but I think that’s part of the problem. IMO he came into F1 too soon, without cutting his teeth and refining his craft in the lower formulae. He got lucky with his first win (I don’t think he would have won Spain if the two Mercs hadn’t taken each other out) amid a flurry of global publicity (loads of free advertising for Red Bull) and has tried to stay in the limelight ever since. He certainly generates a lot of publicity both for himself and Red Bull, but of late it’s all been the wrong type. If he doesn’t change his ways soon, he’ll be a laughing stock and out of F1 altogether. BUT can Marco admit to having got it wrong twice in a row? (Kvyatt). Will doubt (and blame) be placed on his head? Verstappen has never come close to winning a WDC (5th in 2016 was his highest WDC standingof his 4 years in F1 so far). He’s not even ‘young’ anymore, so that excuse has disappeared in the mists of time. I didn’t know about the instruction in Brazil to follow Hulkenberg’s lines. Hmmmmm……………………

  4. If you all like to watch extremely boring F1 races (which is what happened at the front of the Monaco racers with Vettel and Hamilton not taking any action), yes then Verstappen had to go. If you like RACING, then please let him stay.

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