Marko spills on Verstappen’s snowy escape: “No worries” for F1 star

In the aftermath of a rare setback in Melbourne due to a brake failure, Helmut Marko, the leading consultant at Red Bull, remains unfazed, confidently stating he harbors “no worries” regarding any potential recurrence of the issue that sidelined Max Verstappen. Despite this hiccup, Verstappen still finds himself atop the drivers’ leaderboard, albeit by a slender margin of five points.

Helmut Marko, aged 80 and hailing from Austria, candidly shared, “Unfortunately, defects like that happen sometimes,” further highlighting Verstappen’s recuperative retreat to Japan’s pristine snowy landscapes, “In the meantime, Max has been skiing in Japan in the most wonderful deep snow in the world.”

During a conversation with Austria’s Osterreich newspaper, the subject of Verstappen’s skiing potentially breaching his contract by engaging in risky off-track activities was broached, to which Marko playfully responded, “I’ve already told you too much.”

Further inquiry into the brake calamity revealed to Laola1 by Marko was that the issue wasn’t with the brake caliper as initially thought. “Max’s brake broke and the exact cause is still being investigated. But it wasn’t the caliper. It’s more of an assembly issue, but that will be checked. I have no worries for Japan, that’s not a problem,” he assured.

Addressing Sergio Perez’s subdued performance in Australia, Marko attributed it to a compromised floor, leading to “the lack of downforce also increasing tyre wear.” Yet, optimism reigns supreme within the Red Bull camp, especially with the upcoming Suzuka circuit. “Suzuka is now a power track that suits us and Max is always great there,” Marko professed, adding, “I’m very optimistic.”

An unexpected team reshuffle, however, sees Red Bull suddenly parting ways with Lee Stevenson, their long-standing chief mechanic, now set to join the ranks at Sauber, owned by Audi, for the Suzuka event and beyond. Veteran journalist Roger Benoit noted, “He began his new job on Monday with a flight to Japan,” highlighting the significant change within the team’s dynamics.

In other F1 news, McLaren and David Sanchez, the former Ferrari aerodynamics expert, have decided to part ways after only three months due to a misalignment in role expectations and ambitions. McLaren’s statement elucidated, “Upon our joint reflection, it became apparent that the role, responsibilities and ambitions associated with David’s position did not align with our original expectations.”

Williams’ racing team, meanwhile, managed to prepare a chassis for Logan Sargeant for the Japanese Grand Prix after he missed the Australian race. Alex Albon expressed his gratitude, saying, “The team trackside and back at Grove has really pulled together in an impressive way to repair the car and deliver it to the track on time,” highlighting the team’s commendable effort, “which we are all hugely thankful for.”


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