Red Bull

Akshita Patel

“It Is What It Is” Red Bull Advisor Helmut Marko Defends Max Verstappen After The Latter Defies Team Orders At The Spanish GP

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing’s lead driver and current topper of the driver’s championship leaderboard, recently won the Spanish Grand Prix. Having started the race on pole, the Dutchman came home 24 seconds ahead of his arch-nemesis, Lewis Hamilton. Moreover, his teammate, Sergio Perez, fought his way to P4 after a disappointing show at the qualifying session. Overall, it proved to be a good weekend for the drink-based team, which maintained its 100% win record.

Red Bulls and Max Verstappen have been unstoppable this season. The Dutch driver is already 53 points ahead of his teammate, Sergio Perez, in the driver’s championship leaderboard. At this rate, Max would most certainly clinch the drivers’ throne even before the season reaches its conclusion. However, his aggressive and defiant attitude has become more of a problem for the team.


Max Verstappen Defies Team Orders To Put Fastest Lap, Helmut Marko Jumps In Defense

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Red Bull were favorites to win the recently concluded Spanish Grand Prix, having their lead driver, Max Verstappen, on pole. Moreover, throughout the race, the Dutchman enjoyed a comfortable lead and finished the race 24 seconds quicker than the man behind a Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton. Max pitted twice and still came out ahead of Hamilton. Hence, he faced no threat whatsoever. But Verstappen’s hunger had not been satisfied just yet. His teammate, Perez, had recorded the fastest lap. When Max was informed of the same, he wanted to make an attempt to put the lap time.

However, the team denied his request as the Dutch driver had already received a warning for pushing track limits. Verstappen was shown a black-and-white flag to warn him that another violation of track limits would result in a five-second penalty. Hence, his race engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, asked him to stand down and just complete the race safely. However, with a lead of over 20 seconds, Max Verstappen feared nothing and defied the team’s orders to put the fastest lap. It caused a massive uproar among fans who questioned the Red Bull drivers’ defiant attitude. Meanwhile, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko had come out to defend Max. He said you can’t get angry at him for wanting to do better. Yes, Verstappen had received warnings, and the team wanted to avert the penalty. But he made his choice and gained his extra point. Hence, Red Bull has no issues with it and will continue to support Verstappen to the best of its abilities.

Christian Horner To Confront Verstappen For Refusing To Adhere To Team’s Orders

Max verstappen
Photograph: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

While Helmut Marko might have forgiven Max Verstappen for his recent behavior, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is in no mood to let it slide. Max ignored his race engineer’s advice, who repeatedly requested him not to push for the fastest lap and bring the car home within the track limits. The Dutch driver risked a penalty threat to earn the extra point by putting in the fastest lap. Many questioned Max’s alleged behavior, which prompted Horner to step in.

Christian Horner said he would sit down with Max Verstappen to seek an explanation about the whole fiasco. However, Horner also said that there is nothing to worry about as Verstappen has an open relationship with his race engineer. He even compared their relationship to that of a married couple who fight over silly issues. Hence, there is no bad blood between the two. Still, the Dutchman will have to defend his actions.