Marko surprised time and again by Verstappen: There's no end

Marko surprised time and again by Verstappen: "There's no end"

3 June - 13:00 Last update: 13:26

Helmut Marko continues to be astonished at Max Verstappen's talent. The Dutchman had time during free practice to talk quietly over the team radio and recognise Marko's ringtone. In an exclusive interview with GPblog, Marko looks back on that moment.

Verstappen dominates in Barcelona

Verstappen was supreme at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday. The Dutchman was fastest in the first and second free practice sessions and also showed his class in the race simulations. In that, the Red Bull driver was by far the fastest. Not even team-mate Sergio Perez came close.

All the more impressive was that Verstappen had spare thinking time to hear what was happening on the pit wall via the team radio during that run. When given some information by Gianpiero Lambiase, Verstappen heard a ringtone going off in the background. Verstappen heard it and knew who the phone belonged to: Helmut Marko. After the session, Marko already revealed that Max was right.

Marko impressed

"Those laps come easy like that, and there's no end. I was surprised by his qualifying lap in Monte Carlo and the long run yesterday. If you listen to him on the radio, it's like talking to you and me (quietly at a table in the Red Bull Hospitality)," Marko said in a conversation with GPblog. The Austrian is still visibly impressed by his pupil, who still manages to surprise him after all these years.

With Verstappen's communication method, Marko says you can see how much spare capacity the two-time world champion has. "And we have drivers who we have to wait until a long straight to talk to him, sometimes they tell the engineer don't talk to me in the quick corners like Suzuka after the start/finish. Very fast corners. With Max, you can do anything, it's unbelievable, and it's a real pleasure," Marko continued

In Barcelona, GPblog spoke at length with Marko about the success of the Red Bull Junior Team. As head of this programme, he has already led many talents to F1. In 2022, for example, together with the Red Bull and AlphaTauri drivers, eight drivers were on the grid from Marko's junior pathway. You will find the exclusive story about this programme and all the ins and outs of several involved on GPblog next week.