Red Bull consultant Helmut Marko made a bold decision last year to promote Max Verstappen from the Toro Rosso team to the energy drinks’ senior team, which in turn led to Daniil Kvyat being demoted – the decision proved to be inspire and spot on.
Marko explained the his thinking at the time Sport Bild, “Daniil Kvyat could not push Ricciardo as hard as Verstappen.”
Indeed Verstappen went on to win his debut race for the Red Bull team, when he triumphed at the Spanish Grand Prix, and since then has established himself as one of the most exciting drivers on the grid.
At the same time the Dutch teenager has pushed his teammate Ricciardo hard, forcing the Australian to raise his game.
Marko explained, “Daniel had to learn how to deal with that but we’ve seen him get faster the more he was pushed.”
For now their is a healthy respect between the drivers, but Red Bull have had history of feuding drivers upsetting the harmony within the team.
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber enjoyed a warm partnership as teammates, until the team became serious title contenders, then things changed dramatically and took an ugly turn.
But Marko is undeterred, “A healthy rivalry on the track is the best thing that can happen to a team. But so far the competitive situation has not affected them in their work or privately. The two respect each other completely.”
Big Question: Will things between Max and Daniel remain cool and calm or is their relationship a time-bomb ready to explode?