Revealed: The story behind Max Verstappen’s ‘I’m so sorry GP’ apology in Bahrain

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen quirky looks as he explains in post-qualifying

Max Verstappen cost GP 50 euros with his Bahrain pole

Claiming pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Max Verstappen apologised to Gianpiero ‘GP’ Lambiase…that’s because his P1 cost his race engineer 50 Euros.

Despite failing to set the pace in any of the preceding three practice sessions, Verstappen came to the fore when it mattered most in Friday’s Q3 session in qualifying.

The reigning World Champion posted a 1:29.179 to beat Charles Leclerc by 0.228s, and promptly apologised to his race engineer.

GP bet against Max Verstappen taking pole in Bahrain

Speaking to GP over the radio he said: “I’m so sorry, GP! Haha!”

His team boss Christian Horner replied to that: “Nothing to be sorry about Max, it was a good start. Two-tenths clear of Charles and three-tenths clear of George.”

But apparently, he did have something to be sorry for as he had just cost GP 50 euros.

That’s because the race engineer had a bet going with Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, and he bet against Verstappen claiming pole.

Marko revealed he’ll be sharing his winnings with his star driver.

“Max gets half of my winnings, he’s tough in negotiations,” he told ServusTV, saying the bet was “just for fun, it raises your morale and your sense of competition.”

Marko reckons it was the “Max factor” that came into play during qualifying after handling and shift issues during the practice sessions.

“We worked hard after practice and then, of course, the Max factor came around the corner again,” added Marko. “It’s nice to be able to start the race here at the front of the field.”

With Sergio Perez starting fifth, Marko says Red Bull are “optimistic” for the race.

He does, however, believe there could be some competition from those lining up behind Verstappen on the grid, most notably Ferrari and Mercedes.

“Ferrari and Mercedes will hopefully have a close match behind us. Fernando Alonso is also very strong in the race. I hope that we are at the front,” he told Sky Deutschland. recommends

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Betting on Verstappen to take pole position in Bahrain, Marko recuperated some of his losses from last year’s Abu Dhabi finale.

That Saturday he had a bet going with Horner and bet against Verstappen taking pole position as he felt his practice struggles would leave him on the second row of the grid at best.

Verstappen went on to claim pole by a tenth of a second ahead of Leclerc, and Marko had to hand over 500 euros to Horner.

“I never believed that we could come back for qualifying the way that we did,” he said at the time. “We lost in FP3 half a second just in sector three, so it was some sort of motivation also.

“Christian said front row and I said no, second row. I lost it, but I’m very happy that our engineers did a fantastic job to make the right adjustments, and also that Max in the end delivered.

“I should have known Max!”

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