Max Verstappen 'recharged' ahead of new F1 season
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Max Verstappen has matured greatly from the days where he would be “screaming in the garage”, according to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko. Verstappen is aiming to win back-to-back F1 world titles this year after last season’s controversial ending in Abu Dhabi. And in a new book about the driver, Marko has given an insight to how he has changed through the years.
Verstappen has been driving for Red Bull since the age of 17.
So few will know the Dutchman better than former Austrian driver Marko.
Verstappen, who clinched his maiden championship win on the last lap of the final race last season, is now 24 with almost 150 races behind him.
A book titled ‘Formula Max’ was recently published in the Netherlands.
Marko has opened up on how Verstappen used to behave when things did not go his way, explaining how he is a lot different these days.
Speaking of Verstappen’s progress in his career, Marko said: “He has matured.
“The difference is that if he sees any kind of problem now, he stays as calm as possible.
“Before, he could lose his temper and start screaming in the garage.
“Now he is very aware that this will not change anything and it will not help the engineers either.
“Therefore, he prefers to prepare for the next session and think about the best way to take advantage of his opportunities.
“Now he has clearly learned to deal with those things better.”
Looking back to the start of his career, Marko claimed he did not hesitate in allowing a young Verstappen to drive for Red Bull despite his lack of experience.
“We had no doubt that we would be criticized,” the 78-year-old added.
“But I’ll be honest: it was a calculated risk. Also, we gave Max the necessary number of tests within the rules in force at the time.
“He made his debut in free practice at one of the toughest tracks on the calendar, Suzuka, and left very good feelings facing such a difficult task.
“We were able to prepare him well for his rookie season. Of course, there is always a risk, because success in the lower categories never guarantees success in F1.
“In the course of conversations with Max, I immediately realized that one shouldn’t judge him by his age. He is way ahead in terms of development.
“And that applied both physically and psychologically: he was ready for F1. We never doubted our decision.”
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