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Marko: 'Toxic atmosphere between Sainz and Verstappen at Toro Rosso'

Marko: 'Toxic atmosphere between Sainz and Verstappen at Toro Rosso'

17-07-2022 08:52 Last update: 09:12


Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz are rivals fighting for podiums at the front of the field this season. At Toro Rosso, they were still teammates from 2015 to 2016. Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko now reveals that the atmosphere between the two men then proved very 'toxic' during that time.

Sainz made his debut in Formula 1 with the Toro Rosso team in 2015. Remarkably, as a teammate of Verstappen who also made his debut in the premier class. The Dutchman was appointed as the replacement for Daniil Kvyat at the great Red Bull Racing in 2016 and became teammate of Daniel Ricciardo. This left no room for Sainz to be promoted. With four races to go, Sainz eventually traded the Toro Rosso team for Renault until the end of 2018. He then left for McLaren for two seasons before making the switch to Ferrari in 2021.

Big risk

Marko had taken a big risk by putting two rookies in one team. Both men also had to prove themselves because their fathers were also drivers. "He was just unlucky to get Max as a teammate," Marko told Red Bulletin."The atmosphere between those two at Toro Rosso was pretty toxic," the Austrian revealed."With the line-up we had at the time, I saw no way to keep him with us. So he switched to Renault, McLaren and then Ferrari."

Yet Marko also admits that Sainz not only struggled at Toro Rosso because of his teammate, but that his father also played an important role. Father Carlos Sainz Sr. is highly regarded in motorsport and is called a great legend."He has long stood in the shadow of his father, the two-time rally champion. He was unfairly saddled with the image of the spoiled son of a driver, while Carlos has always had to fight very hard to get ahead."

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