Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has hit back at Max Verstappen’s driving style, claiming the reigning champion was ‘over the limit’ following his disaster at the Australian Grand Prix. Marko revealed Red Bull had believed winning the world title last year would create some calmness” for the 23-year-old.
However, it doesn’t seem to have worked with Verstappen, who is now being accused of driving too hard during qualifying sessions. The Dutchman already has a reputation for being an aggressive driver but it appears this has now extended to his own team.
According to Formula1News.co.uk, Marko said: “He goes over the limit – he wants too much. That didn’t work out here in the last sector.
“We thought that with the world championship title there would be some calmness from him, but he probably needs another title so that he doesn’t go into qualifying with so much pressure.” Verstappen has appeared frustrated by Red Bull over the opening three races as he has battled reliability issues.
The reigning champion has retired from two races, throwing away an almost certain 36 points as he was lying second each time. He branded the mechanical failures as “unacceptable” as he now finds himself 46 points behind Leclerc’s Ferrari after being forced to bow out in Melbourne at the weekend.
He added: “We didn’t even finish the race, which is pretty frustrating and unacceptable. I knew there was a problem, and it was always going to be a case of trying to finish the race.
“But these kinds of things, if you want to fight for the title, cannot happen.” The Dutchman also claimed his team “wanted more” after he was only pipped to pole in Melbourne, suggesting he is not satisfied with his poor start to 2022.
Verstappen’s aggression on the track was praised by the team ahead of the new season with team principal Christian Honer backing his driver’s tactics.
Horner told the BBC: “Max is a forceful driver. He’s an aggressive driver. And that driving style is why he was voted the most popular driver in Formula 1. You just know he is going to give 110 per cent…There are other drivers that make aggressive actions as well, you know.
“But, yeah, Max is an aggressive driver. That’s his DNA; that’s who he is. Yes, he will always be close to the limit and he will only learn from his experiences. I’ve got no doubt about that.”