Marko defends Verstappen after ignoring team orders in Spain

Marko defends Verstappen after ignoring team orders in Spain

Max Verstappen received a warning from Red Bull after the repeatedly violated track limits while attempting the best lap.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen is not to blame for violating track limits during the Spanish Grand Prix, according to Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, who has defended the championship leader.

Verstappen outperformed Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes by a comfortable 26 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. However the Dutch driver overstepped the track’s limits, putting himself at risk of a fine that might have changed the results of the race.

Verstappen’s track limits infringement resulted in the black and white driving standards flag, which acted as a warning that additional breaches could result in a five-second time penalty. Although such a penalty was irrelevant given that he held a commanding lead, a late-race Safety Car may have risked his secure position by merging with the pack.

Verstappen was constantly advised to avoid any penalties by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase, but the driver chose to disregard the advice and even set the fastest lap of the race. Despite the challenges being brought up, Marko insisted there was nothing and supported Verstappen’s act.

“We were less worried about that than the viewers,” Marko said. “Then he also got to drive the fastest lap, while his tires were nowhere near as good as Checo’s [Sergio Perez] when he set his fastest lap.

“In that position, you normally don’t take risks, but you can’t dispel that thought with Max. You can’t be angry with him.”

The two-time world champion was unfazed by all that happened after the race and even admitted that he and Marko were making jokes about it.

“Well, I kept it within the white lines, I just went a bit faster on the lap. So I didn’t do anything wrong,” Verstappen said. “They don’t know how much pace I have in the car, right, when they tell me this is the fastest lap, don’t bother, but I knew that I could do it.

“So yeah, I just had to keep it within the white lines but this is something I think we can laugh about already. I was laughing about it with Helmut after the race so I’m pretty sure that they’re quite happy.”

Marko’s remarks reveal his faith and confidence in Verstappen’s skills and judgment on the racetrack. Despite the fact that the incident caused some spectators to look on in shock, Marko thinks Verstappen’s performance and awareness of the circumstances were excellent, enabling him to clinch a clear victory.

Verstappen’s aggressive and fearless style of racing has captivated viewers and kept his competitors on the edge as the F1 season goes on.

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