Marko: Max showing the reigning establishment how to race

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 27: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing at the F1 Drivers Class of 2016 group photo during the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 27, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20161127-00226 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //

Red Bull driver manager Helmut Marko made a ballsy call in May this year when he decided to demote under performing Daniel Kvyat and replace him with teenager Max Verstappen for the Spanish Grand Prix and beyond.

The young Dutchman sensationally won his first race as a Red Bull driver that weekend in Barcelona justifying Marko’s call, proving it to be an inspired decision.

Since then Verstappen has grabbed headlines with just about every race, invariably the driver of the day at most grads prix since the and he is without doubt Formula 1’s brightest new star. His arrival on the scene has injected a new dimension to the sport, bolstered the entertainment value of races while shaking up the establishment.

Speaking to the official F1 website, Marko describes the impact the youngster has had on the sport at the highest level, “He brings a completely new approach to the ‘reigning establishment’! He shows them again how racing should be – how it was in the past. I remember when guys like Senna and Schumacher came, they also had a different approach and were a shock awakening for the establishment of their time.”

“They also were criticised massively. Now we have a young, hungry, sexy young driver, with a devil-may-care attitude about the spoils of former champions – whether they have won once, twice, three times or even four times.”

“He’s shown on many occasions that he is light years away from your common Formula One driver by winning his first race sitting in a Red Bull. Yes, the two Mercedes drivers took each other out so this win probably fell in our laps, but Brazil showed that he is not only above average but that he will be a great one.”

“When I first met [Max] he was 15; a 15-year-old boy with the maturity of a 26-year-old man and an unbelievable self-confidence. Since then three years have passed and he’s had a sensational learning curve. He doesn’t make mistakes twice. He is definitely ready for the title fight. There is no need for any more extra preparation: he knows the name of the game!”

As for weaknesses, Marko insisted, “No weaknesses aside from the fact that he is sometimes not patient enough. He sometimes tries to force situations his way when all he has to do is wait a bit and it will fall into his lap. But this change is already in the making!”

And Brazil, “I saw a similar drive from Max at the Norisring in F3 some years ago: again in a league of his own – with a line of his own. In F1 I would compare his Brazil drive to Senna at Donington.”