Sky F1’s pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz revealed that the Christian Horner-Helmut Marko bet on Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi was not Red Bull’s first of F1 2023, with Bernie Ecclestone profiting in Brazil.
Verstappen has put himself in prime position to end F1 2023 with a remarkable 19th win of the campaign, after claiming pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
His struggles through practice made that an unlikely achievement, Red Bull advisor Marko was confident enough to bet €500 with team principal Horner that Verstappen would not even make the front row, meaning Horner’s pocket is now of course €500 heavier.
Sergio Perez lost 10,000 to Bernie Ecclestone in Brazil
Apparently, Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Perez has also been on the losing side of a bet recently at the Brazilian Grand Prix, giving up 10,000 of an unknown currency to the former boss of Formula 1 Ecclestone who was in attendance.
Sky F1’s Kravitz had done some digging after hearing Horner make a “bit expensive” remark to Perez over the radio at Interlagos, where he narrowly lost out on a podium finish to Fernando Alonso after their battle and dash to the finish line.
“So Marko didn’t think, and bet €500, that Max wouldn’t be on the front row,” said Kravitz on his ‘Ted’s Notebook’ programme.
“He was, of course, he’s on pole position, and that meant that Christian won that money off Helmut Marko.
“Sergio Perez lost 10,000 we don’t know what’s off Bernie Ecclestone at the Brazilian Grand Prix. I found out that’s what that radio message was, where Christian Horner said to Sergio, ‘A bit expensive that’, at the end, losing that bet to Bernie.”
However, Kravitz highlighted a loophole which seemingly went under the radar for Ecclestone.
The currency being used in the bet is unknown because according to Kravitz, it was never specified, so it is unclear how far Ecclestone’s winnings will actually stretch.
If the bet was paid out based on 10,000 Brazilian Real for example, then that would equate to a shade over £1,600 or €1,800.
“But the get-out is that nobody specified apparently what currency it was,” Kravitz continued.
“So I don’t know whether Bernie has had a loophole there that he hasn’t seen.”
Verstappen joked that “Helmut learned his lesson” for betting against him in Abu Dhabi qualifying, as the Dutchman goes into race day as the overwhelming favourite for victory.