Dr. Helmut Marko has downplayed the emerging narrative that suggested increasing tension between Max Verstappen and his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase during the Belgian GP weekend.
Radio exchanges between Verstappen and Lambiase at Spa-Francorchamps hinted at a potential rift between the two, but Marko, from Red Bull Racing, insists that they actually have a good relationship.
“It’s great fun for journalists and the public,” the Austrian remarked when asked about the perceived tension. “The things they talk about always have a serious undertone, but if you know the background, you understand it,” Marko shared with De Telegraaf newspaper.
While Marko didn’t delve into specifics, he mentioned that the discussions revolved around matters like the fastest lap and the approach to the race compared to Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez.
The media’s focus on the Verstappen-Lambiase interaction may be attributed to the lack of major developments at the very front of the field, with Verstappen’s dominance becoming almost routine.
“Even the most extraordinary successes become routine with Verstappen,” commented the Italian newspaper Tuttosport, highlighting the growing gap between Verstappen and his rivals. Verstappen is seemingly in a league of his own, competing against himself.
Considering potential rivals, Marko mentioned that only Fernando Alonso could pose a challenge to Verstappen, but even with the same car, it would still be a formidable task.
As for Red Bull’s family, there seems to be no place for Indycar driver Colton Herta, who had his debut for Alpha Tauri halted this year due to the inability to secure a super license.
Marko cited Herta’s relatively older age of 23 and lack of necessary experience as reasons for not fitting into Red Bull’s plans.