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Red Bull drivers rated as Marko delivers no-holds-barred verdicts
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Red Bull drivers rated as Marko delivers no-holds-barred verdicts

Red Bull drivers rated as Marko delivers no-holds-barred verdicts

Red Bull drivers rated as Marko delivers no-holds-barred verdicts

Red Bull drivers rated as Marko delivers no-holds-barred verdicts

It is remarkable to think eight of the 20 drivers on the current F1 grid have all come through Red Bull's driver academy.

All were initially vetted by the team's 'advisor', Dr Helmut Marko, before being given the nod to make the step up from whatever junior category they had been racing in.

Marko has always been renowned for his no-nonsense approach, and in an interview with The Red Bulletin, he has delivered a unique take on all eight drivers.

Max Verstappen - a generational talent

"Max is the fastest driver we've ever had. He's also gradually becoming the most complete racing driver. He is the type of generational talent you see once in a decade.

"That perfect combination of speed, performance and self-confidence is unique. In terms of driving, there's currently no one quicker than him over a single lap.

"Max is a champion who received the perfect tools for his career from his father and who is more relaxed than ever thanks to that world championship."

Sebastian Vettel - had upper hand over Webber by quite some distance

"Sebastian came to us at a very young age. He was a very, very analytical worker. Very industrious. He made optimal use of all technical possibilities.

"This was also why he ultimately had the upper hand over a talented Mark Webber, and by quite some distance.

"Whenever there were technical innovations - the blown diffuser, a new tyre manufacturer - he made optimal use of his technical expertise. That ability is what made him a four-time world champion."

Daniel Ricciardo - Verstappen a crunch point in his career

"A cheerful, natural talent with outstanding car control. Daniel gets into the car and is fast straight from the off.

"In his first year at Red Bull Racing, he beat Vettel by three wins to nil. Max coming on the scene was a crunch point in his career. Rather than taking up the fight, he wanted to keep his distance. And you know what happened next. That’s too bad.

“He was always nice to work with. His speed is comparable to that of Max, but he’s just lacking that ultimate consistency.”

Carlos Sainz - relationship with Verstappen was toxic

"For a long time, he lived in the shadow of his father, the two-time World Rally champion. He was unfairly saddled with the image of being the spoiled son of a racing driver whereas, on the contrary, Carlos had to fight consistently to get ahead.

“It was his bad luck to get Max as a team-mate. The atmosphere between the two at Toro Rosso was quite toxic.

"In the set-up we had at the time, I couldn’t see a way of keeping him with us and so he moved to Renault, McLaren and then on to Ferrari.”

Pierre Gasly - looked for excuses

"At Red Bull Racing, he lost out to Max. He looked for excuses instead of tackling his own mistakes.

"Since he has been back at AlphaTauri, he has driven his way into top form again. He is the team leader and doing incredible things.

"Like his compatriot Francois Cevert, he is fast, cheeky and devoted to the beautiful things in life.”

Yuki Tsunoda - prone to outbursts of anger

"Yuki is very un-Japanese. The Japanese are usually credited with being courteous and disciplined. Yuki is neither!

"He is also prone to outbursts of anger, but he is bloody fast, whatever you say. We believe in him and his huge potential.

"When he isn’t under stress, he’s incredibly funny and likeable. Everyone likes Yuki, even if no one can blow their top quite like he does.”

Alex Albon - Hamilton dampened his career

"Lewis Hamilton didn't destroy his career, but he did put a dampener on it.

"He was in second place in Brazil in 2019 when Hamilton drove him off the track. Then Alex wanted to pass Hamilton on the outside at the Red Bull Ring in 2020 but got pushed into the gravel.

"He would have won that race but he came away empty-handed. He took a long time to get over that.

“Alex is very fast, but I wonder if he’s too nice. He’s a bit like David Coulthard, who everyone likes, but wasn’t tough enough in the end.”

Sergio Perez - a great team player

"He arrived with a win under his belt and he was in a positive mood. Then he met Max. This led to a certain amount of uncertainty, especially in qualifying. But he put that behind him.

"Checo is a great team player. Max wouldn't have won the world championship without him.

"In private, he knows how to enjoy life. He chooses his own hotels and lives within the team with his own advisors. I don't know exactly what they all do, but they are very nice people."

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