Red Bull motorsport chief Helmut Marko believes that Max Verstappen proved that all of his recent critics are talking "absolute rubbish" following his victory at the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on Sunday which made it three consecutive podium spots for the Dutchman.
Verstappen's campaign has taken a while to catch fire, with earlier races being marred by retirements or crashes.
He has received plenty of criticism from certain quarters of the sport, with his swashbuckling style being labelled as immature or even dangerous, but Marko thinks his driver has shut up his critics with his recent performances.
“All these critics that were talking in the beginning of the year, he showed them that it was absolute rubbish,” Marko told Motorsport.com.
“He had to nurse the tyres, and we also turned down the engine around mid-race, because of safety reasons and technical reasons.
"And he still managed to keep up this speed which was necessary to keep Raikkonen behind, and only three or four laps from the end, when it was three seconds, did we turn the engine up.
“He was so smooth, he controlled it, he never got any panicking whatsoever. It was like Barcelona , a little bit."
Marko insists that Verstappen has grown up a bit since incidents at the start of the campaign, and reckons that his drive on Sunday was the performance of a champion.
“He’s grown up," Marko continued,
"He punished himself very much, he could be battling for the championship. Sometimes there was bad luck, there were only two stupid accidents, one was Monte Carlo and the other one was in China with [Sebastian] Vettel.
“But at 20 years old to drive such a race, that shows what champion’s quality he has. He’s done three good races now, and all three were unbelievable.”
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