Helmut Marko breaks silence on Max Verstappen violating team orders

Red Bull warned Max Verstappen against pursuing the fastest lap after the Dutchman repeatedly violated track limits.

Red Bull motorsport advisor, Helmut Marko, has come to the defence of Max Verstappen, stating that there is no reason to be angry with the championship leader despite him ignoring warnings regarding track limits during the Spanish Grand Prix.

Verstappen had a commanding performance at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, finishing a comfortable 26 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes. However, the Dutch driver pushed the boundaries of track limits, risking a penalty that could have affected the outcome of the race.

Verstappen received the black and white driving standards flag for exceeding track limits, which served as a warning that further violations could result in a five-second time penalty. While his substantial lead made such a penalty irrelevant, a late-race Safety Car could have jeopardized his comfortable position by bunching up the field.

Race Engineer Gianpiero Lambiase repeatedly cautioned Verstappen to avoid any penalties, but the driver chose to ignore the advice and even set the fastest lap of the race. Despite the concerns raised, Marko remained adamant that there were no issues and defended Verstappen’s actions.

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Speaking to ORF, Marko stated, “We were less worried about that than the viewers. Then he also got to drive the fastest lap, while his tires were nowhere near as good as Checo’s [Sergio Perez] when he set his fastest lap. 

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“In that position, you normally don’t take risks, but you can’t dispel that thought with Max. You can’t be angry with him.”

Marko’s comments reflect the trust and confidence he has in Verstappen’s abilities and decision-making on the track. While the incident raised eyebrows among spectators, Marko believes that Verstappen’s performance and awareness of the situation were commendable, allowing him to secure a convincing victory.

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As the F1 season progresses, Verstappen’s aggressive and fearless approach to racing continues to captivate fans and keep his rivals on their toes.