Verstappen Moody Throughout Austin Weekend – Marko

Max Verstappen exhibited signs of being moody over the course of the US GP weekend, concedes Red Bull’s advisory figure, Dr. Helmut Marko.

Despite clinching both the drivers’ and constructors’ titles with a few races yet to unfold, Verstappen forfeited his pole position on Friday due to a track limits infringement.

A subsequent spin in the ‘sprint shootout’ didn’t hinder his clear-cut sprint victory. However, challenges arose during Sunday’s US GP in Austin, notably brake issues, even though he ascended from P6 to secure first place.

This triumph was met with boos of disapproval from the American audience.

“In the end, I’m the one who takes the silverware home, so all fine by me,” Verstappen responded.

Yet, as he grappled with car issues earlier on Sunday, renewed strains between him and his engineer, Gianpiero Lambiase, became evident.

After several admonitions from Max during the race, Lambiase communicated via radio, “I’ll see you on Friday” – choosing to forgo the podium celebrations and post-race analysis.

When prompted about one fiery exchange with Lambiase concerning radio calls during braking periods, Verstappen countered, “I said it nicely. At least I said please.”

Jan Lammers, the Dutch GP chief, believed Verstappen’s reprimand was justified.

“When you’re downshifting, it’s important that you hear the revs properly, especially if you’re having problems,” he conveyed to NOS.

However, Christian Horner, Team Chief, refuted claims that Lambiase intentionally missed the podium and post-race debrief.

“He just had to get back to the UK – he was rushing to catch his flight,” he clarified. “Normally it’s Helmut, but now it’s the engineer.”

Jos Verstappen, Max’s father, also downplayed his son’s evident exasperation.

“The feeling wasn’t there, so then you get things like this,” he shared with Viaplay.

Marko stood by Red Bull’s three-time world champion, stating, “Max was a bit grumpy all weekend,” with a hint of jest from the 80-year-old Austrian. “I think he had to do too many PR activities, and that is never his favourite thing to do.”

“He also couldn’t drive consistently, because when he braked he had to wait and see what was going to happen,” Marko informed De Telegraaf.

“This posed challenges for Max, but he remained flawless. It’s astounding that he held off such a formidable opponent in (Lewis) Hamilton under those conditions.”