JULY 8, 2016
Lower profile for Jos helping Max Verstappen
Dr Helmut Marko has confirmed that Jos Verstappen's step into the background in recent races has been deliberate.
Until his shock mid-season graduation from Toro Rosso to Red Bull, teen sensation Max Verstappen was always side-by-side with his famous father, former F1 driver Jos.
But Marko, the architect of Red Bull's driver programme, said it was time for Max to step out on his own.
"Max is maturing," he told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
"It's not for nothing that his father is now moving into the background. Jos and lived their whole lives, just about day and night always together," added Marko.
"That is now changing. Max learns to stand on his own two feet."
When told that Max runs the risk of racing off the rails without supervision, however, Marko hit back: "He is 18, he lives in Monaco and has an Aston Martin. I think it could be worse."
Although Daniel Ricciardo still seems less than 100 per cent committed to his place at Red Bull for 2017, Marko insists that together with the Australian, Verstappen and Ricciardo is the top driver lineup in F1.
"I'm already looking forward to 2017," he said.
"The development of the new car and the developments at Renault look good. Very good indeed.
"I seriously believe we have the package with the new rules next year to compete seriously for the championship with Ricciardo and Verstappen.
"They would then have to fight each other to show who is the best," Marko added.