Daunting bar set as Helmut Marko plots out Max Verstappen success to come

Sam Cooper
Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen

Helmut Marko has always been one of Max Verstappen's biggest fans.

Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen is likely to go on and beat the records of Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton having earned his third world title.

The Dutchman’s victory in 2023 puts him at three world titles and at 26 years of age, there is every chance he will go on to reach the tally of seven set by Schumacher and Hamilton.

And given Red Bull’s dominance and the lack of regulation changes until 2026, Red Bull motorsport advisor Marko believes he is on course to hit that marker.

Helmut Marko backs Max Verstappen for record-breaking future

Verstappen already has plenty of records in his locker but the one that is now most-talked about is how many world titles he can achieve.

Winning his first in 2021, Verstappen has joined Jack Brabham, Jackie Stewart, Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna on three titles and is now four behind the all-time record.

If Red Bull continue to have the same level of dominance, Verstappen could be on five titles by the time of the new regulations in 2026 and Marko has not ruled him out of reaching the seven target.

During an interview with Austrian outlet oe24, Marko was told a quote by Alexander Wurz who suggested Schumacher’s record would never be broken but Marko was confident Verstappen could do it.

“I also trust Max with that,” he said. “It is highly likely that he will still win World Championships. I just don’t think it’s possible that a season like this one will end this year with 21 wins in 22 races.

“We have a great car and a highly motivated team. But the crucial point for this dominance, and more and more people are slowly getting it, is the Max Verstappen factor. Sergio Perez has been talked badly about, even though he is a top driver. He’s just unlucky that he has a talent of the century as a teammate.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 race wins: Which drivers have the highest win totals in F1 history?

Top 10: The drivers with the highest win percentages in F1 history

As for the one that got away in 2023, Marko has admitted Red Bull were wrongly led by their simulator data for Singapore.

“I’ve always said: If we push Singapore through, I’m optimistic that it will work [Red Bull win every race],” the 80-year-old said.

“Then we let ourselves be misled by the simulator and were no longer able to qualify.

“We were fast again in the race, but overtaking was hardly possible on this street circuit.”

Read next: Jackie Stewart highlights ‘capital of motorsport’ presence behind Max Verstappen success