‘Please leave me alone!’ – Helmut Marko responds to shock Toto Wolff Max Verstappen claim

Thomas Maher
Helmut Marko, Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 2024 Japanese Grand Prix.

Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen.

Red Bull’s Helmut Marko wants to be “left alone”, following Toto Wolff’s claims about the championship already being decided.

The 80-year-old Austrian said Australia is evidence of how quickly things can go wrong, as Toto Wolff has stated the championship is out of reach for everyone but Red Bull.

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After Red Bull delivered their third 1-2 finish from the first four races of the season, it prompted Wolff to claim no one can stop Max Verstappen and Red Bull from wrapping up the titles once again.

“No one is going to catch Max this year,” he told the media at Suzuka. “His driving and the car, just spectacular. I can see how he manages the tyres.”

As for Mercedes’ prospects, Wolff said: “Basically, this season now is best of the rest. That’s the fight, that’s all.”

But Marko believes this theory to be wide of the mark, saying the fact Red Bull has had a strong start to the year isn’t indicative of the rest of the season.

In an interview with Austrian media, it was put to Marko that rivals are already “congratulating Red Bull on the title”, to which he scoffed.

“Please leave me alone!” Marko told Austria’s OE24.

“We’ve only driven four races, 20 to go.”

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Referring to the Australian Grand Prix, from which Verstappen retired and Sergio Perez could only manage fifth, Marko said race weekends like that prove the title isn’t a foregone conclusion.

“In Melbourne, we saw how quickly everything can turn around,” he said.

“Ferrari is strong and reliable, we can’t write them off yet.”

Asked specifically about Wolff’s comments on Verstappen and Red Bull, Marko said it’s the Dutch driver who is making all the difference.

“Those were always my words: We have a good car, but then Max makes the difference once again,” he said.

“Everything was clear in Suzuka, but then Max drove this incredible fastest lap on worn tyres.

“Not just for fun, but to get his message across: Hello, the rest of you are only there to finish second!”

The Austrian, Red Bull’s motorsport consultant, was thrilled with how the weekend at Suzuka had played out following a dominant 1-2 in the race after locking out the front row in qualifying.

“There is hardly anything to find fault with,” he said.

“Everything was perfect right up to the last lap. The pit stops were also incredible: three in two seconds each.”

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