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Verstappen reveals how he used to IGNORE Marko in early F1 career

Verstappen reveals how he used to IGNORE Marko in early F1 career

Verstappen reveals how he used to IGNORE Marko in early F1 career

Verstappen reveals how he used to IGNORE Marko in early F1 career

In his early days as a Red Bull junior, Max Verstappen openly admitted to ignoring early-morning calls from the program's boss, Helmut Marko, in favour of getting some extra sleep.

However, rather than irking Marko, Verstappen believes it had the opposite effect. The Dutch driver, now a three-time world champion, achieved unprecedented dominance in F1 last season, winning an impressive 19 out of the 22 grands prix held, following in the footsteps of fellow Red Bull junior team graduate Sebastian Vettel.

Known for his independent approach, Verstappen reminisced about his time as a Red Bull junior when he wasn't hesitant to chart his own course, even at the risk of ruffling Marko's stern feathers.

Marko, known for his intolerance of underperformance and excuses, saw Verstappen's unique approach differently.

The Dutch driver shared anecdotes of sleeping through Marko's early-morning calls and returning them on his own schedule, a move he believes eventually garnered Marko's appreciation for setting clear "boundaries".

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Helmut Marko was often ignored by Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen and Helmut Marko now share a strong working relationship

Verstappen: I wasn't like other juniors

"Of course nowadays we can tell each other everything," he told Motorsport-Magazin.com.

"But I was never like other juniors, who were downright scared of Helmut.

"I remember him calling me at 7.30 or 8.00 in the morning. I just didn't answer."

“I thought to myself, I’m not going to answer the phone at that time, I’m still asleep. I then simply called him back at 10.00 a.m. or whenever.

“At some point, I think he understood that I wouldn’t answer his calls at 7.30 or 8.00 am either. I think he also likes that in a way, because you’ve set your boundaries and he’s the same.”

READ MORE: Verstappen insists Horner paddock gossip is 'typical F1'

READ MORE: Geri Horner 'unfollows' Verstappen amid Red Bull internal investigation

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