Max Verstappen delivers upgrade update after Helmut Marko teases RB19 changes

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen, Red Bull, in thought. Monaco, May 2023.

Max Verstappen in thought inside the Red Bull garage. Monaco, May 2023.

Max Verstappen has put a lid on talk of a Red Bull upgrade for the Spanish GP after Helmut Marko’s “something new” remark generated attention.

It is not as if the Red Bull RB19 really needs an upgrade right now it would seem, the Monaco Grand Prix having marked the latest chapter of dominance as Verstappen aced both the dry and wet conditions on his way to victory.

And it was a comfortable one at that, his final advantage over Fernando Alonso coming in at just under 28 seconds.

The European season is though traditionally where the teams start to ramp up their development plans, with plenty of focus being on Mercedes who introduced their new-look W14 in Monaco, though the Spanish GP will be the first real test of their work.

And Red Bull advisor Marko had potentially suggested that the team would have changes up their sleeves, quoted by oe24 as claiming the team would be trying “something new in Barcelona”.

Verstappen then was asked by media ahead of the race weekend to shed some further light on the situation, though seemed to shut down the suggestion that Red Bull had a different trick to unveil at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“I think Helmut got a bit excited as well, so I don’t know,” said Verstappen.

“We just do our normal program and nothing crazy.” recommends

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This venue is a very familiar one for many of the Formula 1 teams and drivers, having traditionally been a regular destination for pre-season testing, since the track is regarded as a solid all-round test for a Formula 1 challenger.

Considering the dominance of the RB19 then, which has accounted for all six race wins so far in F1 2023, Verstappen was asked if the Circuit de Catalunya will suit their car, replying: “Should do.”

He added: “Normally Yes. But I mean we still of course need to find a good balance.

“But I think as long as we have a good balance in the car, we can have a good weekend.”

At this stage though Verstappen is simply looking forward to the race weekend, revealing his relief to have put the “very hectic and quite stressful” Monaco Grand Prix behind him.

“Once I crossed the line, I was like, ‘I’m happy that weekend is over’. It’s very hectic and quite stressful,” said Verstappen.

“So I’m also looking forward to this weekend, it’s a proper racetrack and this is where a Formula 1 car comes alive.”

After claiming the Monaco victory, while Perez failed to score, Verstappen extended his Championship lead over his team-mate to 39 points heading into the Spanish GP.