Carlos Sainz Max Verstappen Red Bull

Arnab Bose

EXPLAINED: Why Max Verstappen & Carlos Sainz Jr. Had A Toxic Relationship As Teammates? Reveals Helmut Marko

Max Verstappen is enjoying hegemony in Formula One since 2021. He may dominate the grid, but he has made a name for himself, and that’s because he is not easy as a teammate. Despite Verstappen’s constant touch with records and greatness on the grid, why are drivers a bit apprehensive about being his teammate? Since the time he debuted in F1, people have noticed the incredible competitive attitude of the Dutch kid. He debuted with Torro Rosso, the sister team of Red Bull. Now, it has a new name, Alpha Tauri.

In the present day, fans and experts are aware of the hard times Verstappen’s teammate in the Red Bull team has been facing since last year. Sergio Perez complained about feeling a lot of pressure being the Dutchman’s teammate. He had to hire a mental coach to get back confidence. But Checo is not the only one. In the past, there have been Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, and others who complained the same. However, the first teammate of Max in F1 was another talented driver Carlos Sainz Jr. It was not a cakewalk for the current Ferrari driver either. 

   

Red Bull Advisor Revealed Max Verstappen And Carlos Sainz Jr. Had A Toxic Relationship During Their Torro Rosso Days

Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Max Verstappen Red Bull
Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari Max Verstappen Red Bull Source: FirstSportz

For little more than a year, the Spaniard was teammates with Max Verstappen. Later, the Dutch Driver got his promotion to Red Bull, but Carlos stayed with Torro Rosso until 2017. Eventually, the Spaniard joined Renault. Helmut Marko, in a recent interview, mentioned Carlos Sainz Jr. had to live in the shadow of his father, who was a World Rally Champion twice. Moreover, unfairly the Spaniard had an image of a spoiled son of a racer. However, the truth is he had to fight constantly to get ahead, feels Marko. Moreover, the Red Bull advisor feels it was sheer bad luck that Carlos was a teammate with Max initially. Marko said the atmosphere between the two drivers in Torro Rosso was quite toxic. Moreover, Helmut Marko mentioned at the time the team’s setup was such that he couldn’t find a way to keep Carlos in the team.

That’s why he had to move from Renault, McLaren, and finally to Ferrari. Moreover, Helmut Marko praised Carlos Sainz Jr. for making it to a top F1 team despite his progress slowed down because of Max Verstappen. As per Gazzetta dello Sport, Carlos Sainz Jr. can return to the Red Bull family as he’s one of the potential external candidates for Checo’s replacement. However, the top choice must be Daniel Ricciardo, who’s with the Red Bull’s sister team at present. Anyhow, Sainz’s contract with Ferrari will expire after this year’s season. Ferrari might offer new terms. But it might not be as long as the deal of Charles Leclerc. Hence, the Spaniard might leave Ferrari sooner than Leclerc. 

In The Last Three Years, The Dutchman Became The Most Dominating Force

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen Source: Eurosport

Since 2021, fans are seeing the Dutch driver develop into a superior force. It is hard to contain him to any limit. Previously, the record for most wins in a season was 13, and that belonged to two great German drivers, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. However, in the last two seasons, Max Verstappen has made those records a far cry.

In 2022, the Dutch driver won 15 races. If that was not enough, he went on to win 19 in 2023. Just one short of winning 20 GPs alone. It would have been a great record to go down in the history of the sport. Nevertheless, Max Verstappen will get more chances probably to break his own records in the future.