Helmut Marko took a dig at Sebastian Vettel with his Max Verstappen claims, saying that the 2021 World Champion is the best they have had.

Vettel was Red Bull’s first world champion, clinching the title in 2010. He would repeat this feat in the next three years before departing the team in 2014. Four world championships in four years makes him a Red Bull legend indeed.

Verstappen, meanwhile, won the world championship for Red Bull in 2021, eight years after the German did it. It was their first title in that time, taking the team to the summit once again.

However, Marko took a dig at Vettel with his Verstappen claims despite him winning four titles to the Dutchman’s one.

As quoted by Planet F1, when asked whether he is the best driver he has worked with, the team advisor said, “Yes, without a doubt he is.

“What makes him stand out the most? He doesn’t need a warm-up (lap]). If it rains somewhere, the others do five or eight laps. Then Max goes out and sets the fastest time on the first lap.

“Or Jeddah – nobody knew the track. The others were driving again, Max goes out…bang! Three times (fastest sector). That is one of his fascinating qualities.”

Max Verstappen grabs Helmut Marko in Abu Dhabi. Yas Marina December 2021.
Marko (centre) celebrates with Verstappen after his victory. Source: planetf1.com

Legend

“He’s a little less aggressive, yes, but can look at the bigger picture better now. That’s an important difference,” the Austrian continued.

“In the early years, Max wanted to be the fastest at all times and under all circumstances. He has now learned to dose it and deliver it if it is really necessary. The discrepancy is he already showed that maturity during his very first race for Red Bull.

“Another important difference is that if we had a problem during free practice a few years ago, Max would explode and yell through the pit box. He sometimes took that impatience with him on the track, for example, if a backmarker did not move quickly enough.

“Now Max is much calmer. He performs consistently and at an exceptionally high level. He is truly an extraordinary driver,” he concluded.

Read more: Marko stands up for under-fire Masi – “It’s like the referee, he has the right”

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