Marko Reveals When He Realised Max Verstappen Is An ‘Extraordinary Talent’

Dr Helmut Marko, head of Red Bull’s driver programme, has recalled when he realised that Max Verstappen is an “extraordinary talent.”

At the age of 16, Verstappen became the youngest driver to ever take part in an F1 race weekend at Suzuka in 2014.

Specifically, he took part in FP1 for the Japanese Grand Prix with Toro Rosso and ended the session P12 on the timesheet.  

The Dutch ace eventually raced in Formula 1 with Toro Rosso after just a year of single-seater racing and he was later promoted to Red Bull as Daniil Kvyat’s replacement.

He won his debut race with Red Bull – namely the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix – and he is considered by many to be the fastest driver on the current F1 grid.

Speaking ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, Dr Marko recalled Verstappen dominating a Formula 3 race weekend at Spa-Francorchamps and said it was when he realised his sheer talent.

“The conditions were constantly changing. It rained, dried up – and there he was, I think, an average of two seconds faster than everyone else,” Marko said in an interview with Servus TV.

“And then it was clear that this was an extraordinary talent.”