Wednesday, 08 august 2018, 07:06 , by Matthew Scott
Helmut Marko says reports suggesting Max Verstappen is able to veto his future Red Bull team-mate are "crap". Verstappen was reported by Spanish publication Marca to have indicated that he would be unwilling to partner former Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr when Daniel Ricciardo leaves for Renault.
Sainz and Verstappen were team-mates in the 2015 season and the opening rounds of 2016 before the Dutchman's promotion to Red Bull.
As the pair vied to impress the senior team, they reportedly endured a strained relationship, and it was claimed that Verstappen wished to be installed as the team's outright number-one driver - potentially opening the door for Toro Rosso's young Frenchman Pierre Gasly.
READ MORE: Verstappen doesn't want Sainz at Red Bull
Verstappen and Ricciardo have been seen as equals at Red Bull, although part of the Australian's reasoning for leaving was reported to have been a failure to guarantee him an equal footing going forwards.
Motorsport advisor Marko believes Ricciardo simply wanted a change of scenery, and came down hard on claims that Verstappen would have a say in his new team-mate.
Marko is quoted by Sport: "Daniel called me on Thursday to inform me of the decision to leave the team at the end of the season.
"He spent most of his career at Red Bull and told me he wanted a change, that's fine.
"Now we will have to think about who Max Verstappen's team-mate will be.
"The rumours that point to the veto of Verstappen towards Sainz are crap. Red Bull is the one who decides about the driver line-up."
Gasly is reportedly top of Red Bull's list, with Sainz having been engaged in talks with McLaren for a while.