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Verstappen Advocates for Unity in Red Bull Saga

10/03/2024

Amidst the controversies involving Helmut Marko and team dynamics, Max Verstappen emphasizes the importance of maintaining peace within Red Bull Racing.

Max Verstappen stated it was crucial for Red Bull to “maintain peace” moving forward, following reports that Helmut Marko would not be suspended after discussions with shareholder Oliver Mintzlaff.

In Jeddah, it emerged that Marko was under investigation for media leaks following a prior inquiry into allegations against team director Christian Horner, putting Marko’s future within the team in doubt.

When asked about the impact of Marko’s potential departure, Verstappen responded that the Austrian was “a significant factor in my future decision-making.”

However, after a meeting with Mintzlaff on Saturday morning, Marko quelled speculations about a potential exit from Red Bull.

“It was a very good conversation. Of course, calm needs to be restored in the team. That’s the priority. We’ve agreed on all points. I will continue here. I still have three years left on my contract. But calm must return.”

With Marko’s immediate future secured, Red Bull hopes Verstappen feels comfortable to fulfill his contract, which runs until 2028. Verstappen’s father, Jos, stated that keeping Horner at Red Bull “is not good for the team” and was seen talking with Toto Wolff, sparking rumors that the reigning world champion might make a shocking transfer to Mercedes F1.

But at the post-race press conference, Verstappen expressed hope that Red Bull could ensure everyone moves together in the same direction from now on.

“I’ve always said the most important thing is that we work together as a team, that everyone, you know, maintains peace, and that’s what I think we’re all in agreement on within the team.”

The weekend’s tensions did not hinder the Austrian outfit’s progress, as Red Bull secured another dominating one-two finish far ahead of the competition. Verstappen lauded this achievement.

“The positive takeaway from all this is that it hasn’t affected our performance. So, it’s a very strong team. I think, mentally, what you can see, not just on the driver’s side but also the mechanics, engineers, everyone is there to do their job. Even when there are things happening or whatever, they’re just very focused on their work as they should be.”

This 56th career victory for Verstappen is also his 19th in the last 20 races, and it also brings him to the symbolic milestone of 100 F1 podiums in 187 Grand Prix starts. The Dutchman jokingly commented on this statistic.

“That’s 87 podiums missed! No, of course, I’m very happy. But I’m not really one to look at statistics, so I’m just happy to reach 100, but I want to continue and focus on each race to get the best result possible all the time. I think it was a very good race.”

“Of course, after the first stint with the safety car, we had to stop. I knew it was going to be a very long stint until the end, but it was the same for most of us. I think we managed the pace very well until the end. Throughout the weekend, the car performed very well, probably a bit better than expected, even. And yes, overall, I’m very happy to win here.”

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