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Max and Jos Vet Red Bull's Co-Drivers

Verstappens Influence Red Bull’s Driver Choices

04/07/2024

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko reveals the Verstappens’ significant sway over teammate selections, underscoring their pivotal role.

Dr. Helmut Marko admits that Sergio Perez’s contract extension was partly influenced by the wishes of the Verstappens, Max and his father, Jos.

Pressure is currently mounting on Perez, and on Red Bull, as the Mexican driver has struggled since the announcement of his new two-year contract.

Marko, Red Bull’s F1 consultant, acknowledges that Perez needs to find more performance to support the team’s effort to fend off increasingly competitive rivals – particularly for the constructors’ world championship.

However, the Austrian also admits, “Sergio has a tough life.”

“He is Max’s teammate and has managed to stay on his feet for a few years now. We wanted stability and they work well together. And I have already said the Verstappens are not easy.”

By “the Verstappens,” Marko is also referring to Max’s father, Jos, who plays a significant role in managing the three-time world champion – and who has been at odds with team boss Christian Horner throughout much of 2024 so far.

“Max and Jos would not have agreed with all the teammates we might have presented them,” Marko acknowledges.

For instance, signing Carlos Sainz, a strong but departing Ferrari driver, for 2025 could have made sense for Red Bull, but “risked causing problematic tensions” with Verstappen.

“Max wants a pleasant environment in which he can work,” Marko insists. “He and Perez are equals technically. Sergio no longer dreams of the title.”

“And no matter who sits next to Max, they will be beaten anyway.”

Marko admits that the 2024 season has been challenging for Red Bull so far, particularly due to evident tensions and internal power struggles.

“These are not pleasant conditions. But we have found ways to move forward so far despite this. We have resolved the technical issues we faced, so we can still win a title for Max. That comes before everything else.”

“In this sense, we have thus put everyone on the same page. We just need to win.”

After the backstage disputes between Jos and Horner once again spilled into the public in Austria last week, there is also a rumor that Marko and Horner barely speak anymore.

Asked about this, Marko replied, “As I said, we need to win, and that is what everyone must contribute to. As for me, I am old. I have been here for so long. I am indestructible.”

“I have my opinion, and it is very similar to Max’s. He needs to win as much as possible.”

“I have a contract running until the end of 2026. I fully intend to honor it.”

Max and Jos Vet Red Bull's Co-Drivers

Max and Jos Vet Red Bull’s Co-Drivers Max and Jos Vet Red Bull’s Co-Drivers

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