Helmut Marko reveals cause of Max Verstappen’s ‘piece of sh*t’ brake issue

Michelle Foster
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen stands on his RB19 to celebrate after winning the United States GP.

Max Verstappen dominated the 2023 championship with 19 wins.

Raging about his ailing brakes during the United States Grand Prix, Max Verstappen held on to win the race with Helmut Marko revealing the cause of the issue.

Racing Lewis Hamilton for the victory at the Circuit of The Americas, Verstappen ran into brake troubles and let his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase know all about it.

“Mate, these brakes are so s*** compared to yesterday. What a piece of s***!” he said.

Max Verstappen overcame his brake issues to win in Austin

Told by his race engineer that his pace was dropping, he responded: “I know man, my brakes are just s***.”

A few more shits and other beeped-out words entered the mix before Verstappen crossed the line 2.2s ahead of Hamilton to secure his 15th Grand Prix win of the season.

Having changed his brakes overnight between the Sprint and the Grand Prix, Verstappen says Red Bull need to get on top of the problem.

“It was not good, I had no good feeling under braking, and I couldn’t really get on top of it for the whole race,” the World Champion told Sky Sports F1.

“This is something we need to understand because when you are not very confident around here under braking you just don’t have a nice feeling under braking and when you come off it.

“It can cost you quite a bit of lap time so it was a bit more difficult than I expected.”

But it seems, at least from what Marko says, that it was a simple error.

“We changed the brake pads and somehow something got stuck there,” he told Sky Deutschland.

“He didn’t have the right feeling. It was incredibly difficult for him to drive at the limit.”

He was nonetheless impressed with how his driver continued to lead the race and held off Hamilton to take the win.

“He mastered it masterfully. It was definitely the toughest race this year. A great performance without any mistakes,” he added.

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The 80-year-old Red Bull motorsport advisor also had words praise, sort of, for Sergio Perez who raced from ninth to fourth.

“From ninth on the grid, he achieved the maximum. On the medium he drove the same lap times as Max,” he said.

“His racing speed was impeccable, but overtaking is incredibly difficult here. His performance was satisfactory, a clear upward trend.”

With Perez in the points and Hamilton not scoring after he was disqualified, the Mexican driver’s advantage in the fight to finish runner-up this season is up to 39 points.

Read next: United States GP driver ratings: Lewis Hamilton impresses, Mercedes does not