F1 News

Smiling Verstappen warns Marko: 'Never bet against me!'

Smiling Verstappen warns Marko: 'Never bet against me!'

25-11-2023 16:24

Multimillionaire Helmut Marko - made rich in Austrian real estate, among other things - can surely spare it. And the fact that the Red Bull Racing adviser lost the bet, he, no doubt, won't mind either. With Christian Horner, Marko had made a bet on whether or not Max Verstappen would qualify on the front row of the grid following the difficulties in FP3.

Verstappen took pole, Horner won a nice penny, and Marko 'lost' as a result. The lesson? "Well, first of all, I think Helmut learnt his lesson. Never bet against me," Verstappen laughed during the press conference. On the other hand, the Red Bull Racing world champion also admitted that it is never entirely clear whether the changes made to the RB19 between FP3 and qualifying actually added value.

"Yeah, of course, there's always a bit of a gamble because you just don't know. We already tried a lot of things on the car, which didn't really seem to solve the problem. But yeah, I think GP (his race engineer Lambiase, ed.) stayed calm, and he definitely went through a lot of options. And then, with my feedback, he came up with a very good setup for qualifying. So, of course, I'm very, very happy with that. But of course, there's always a bit of a gamble. You're never 100% sure. "

Verstappen: 'It was all bad'

The conditions in Abu Dhabi are not easy: free practice sessions are during the day (twice) while qualifying and Grand Prix are in the evening. Could that perhaps have been the reason why things went better in qualifying? "I mean, yesterday with FP2, and even today in the morning with FP3, it was all bad. So, I don't really think it had anything to do with that. Of course, the track grips up a bit, but I think the issues I had were more severe than a little bit more rubber here and there."