Helmut Marko challenges Max Verstappen’s claim that F1 records irrelevant to him

Michelle Foster
Christian Horner, Max Verstappen and Helmut Marko celebrate the win. Hungary July 2022

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, Max Verstappen and Helmut Marko celebrate.

Despite declaring several times that he doesn’t care about F1 records, Helmut Marko says Max Verstappen knows them all and where he stands in the mix.

This season Verstappen has already broken internal records at Red Bull with the Dutchman surpassing Sebastian Vettel’s 38 race wins for the Milton Keynes team with his 40th victory at the Spanish Grand Prix before going on to add a further three.

His 43rd win marked Red Bull’s 11th in a row – the streak having begun last season in Abu Dhabi – to match McLaren’s 1988 record.

Max Verstappen ‘knows’ all the records

And one would be hard pressed to bet against him breaking that at the next race in Hungary.

But the 25-year-old has made it clear several times in the past that he doesn’t care about Formula 1’s records, he just wants to win grands prix and World titles.

“I’ve never been interested in breaking records because these things only happen if you are lucky enough to be in a good car for a long time. Not everyone has that luxury,” he said last month.

Marko, though, says for someone who doesn’t care, he sure knows them all.

“Max always says that he does not care about records, but if you ask him, for example, who has the most poles and how many those are, then he knows it right away,” he said as per Motorsport.com.

This season the records are lining up for Verstappen to break with rivals fearing Red Bull could win every one of this year’s grands prix with Verstappen on course to break his 2022 record of 15 wins in a single season.

Marko said of that: “Of course we want to win as many races as possible again this year, but first let’s secure the Championship. That is the most important thing.”

He, though, isn’t yet ready to celebrate a third title despite Verstappen holding a 99-point lead over his team-mate Sergio Perez with Fernando Alonso a further 19 off the pace.

“We will actually only do that if it is theoretically no longer possible for the third man in the championship to catch up with him,” Marko said.

“Our lead is also so big at the moment because the competition behind us keeps changing. They keep bringing updates and one time Mercedes is the closest pursuer, then Ferrari and then Alonso again.”

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Worryingly for Red Bull’s rivals, the motorsport boss doesn’t believe Verstappen has yet reached his peak as a driver.

“No, I think we still haven’t seen the best of him,” he said. “He’s still improving and delivering with tremendous ease.

“In terms of pole positions he was a bit behind his wins, but that’s picking up now as well.

“In the past he could also be a bit irritable at times when things went against him, but that’s gone now. When you hear him talking to his engineer now, it’s like he’s chatting during a coffee break. He can read the race well and of course keep his tyres alive.”

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