Max Verstappen has praised Dr Helmut Marko, his mentor at Red Bull, for his honesty, courage, and the respect he has built, sharing an anecdote about ignoring Marko’s early morning calls and how Marko eventually understood and respected his decision not to answer.
‣ Dr Helmut Marko has been associated with Red Bull for over 20 years and has assisted talents like Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and Max Verstappen.
‣ Verstappen shares an anecdote about Marko’s early morning phone calls, stating that he would not answer them until later in the morning, which he believes earned him respect from Marko.
‣ Verstappen praises Marko for their honest and straightforward relationship.
‣ Verstappen also commends Marko’s decision to rely on Honda engines, a decision that was initially met with skepticism but ultimately paid off.
Helmut Marko and Red Bull, a bond that’s been strong for over two decades. This Austrian has been a guiding force for talents like Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, and of course, Max Verstappen. Speaking of Verstappen, he’s got a fun little story he shared with motorsportmagazin.com.
Marko’s got a reputation for early morning phone calls. He’d ring up colleagues and drivers at the crack of dawn. Verstappen? He wasn’t having any of it. “I just didn’t answer. I thought to myself, ‘I’m not going to answer that phone at this time, I’m still asleep’. I just called him that back at 10 o’clock, or whenever.”
You’d think that might ruffle some feathers, but not with Marko. Verstappen believes his refusal to answer early calls actually earned him some respect. “I think at some point he also understood that I wouldn’t answer the phone at 7.30, 8 o’clock. He likes that in a way, I think.”
Verstappen and Marko? They’re good. Verstappen’s got nothing but praise for Marko and the way they work together. ”We can say anything to each other. Our relationship is very honest and straightforward.”
He also admires the guts Marko showed a few years back. The Honda engines were not running well, but Marko decided to rely on them anyway. ”It was an incredible decision by Helmut to rely on Honda. I don’t think everyone was convinced at the time, but fortunately, it paid off.”