Marko: Verstappen a step ahead of rivals but ‘hasn’t peaked yet’


Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko believes that Max Verstappen has yet to reach his full potential in Formula 1.

Verstappen's dominant 2023 campaign, in which he won 19 of the 22 races, propelled him to third on the all-time list of Formula 1 winners, behind only Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher.

However, the Austrian believes that the 54-time Grand Prix winner is capable of reaching even greater heights.

"In all areas. It's in his absolute will to win,” Marko told Sky Germany.

“He can go to extremes in any situation. As soon as he learns that there might be a penalty for an incident, he increases his lead by 10 seconds.

“He simply instantly gains a second per lap. And he does that cleanly and with ease.

"He is decisive in terms of tyre management. Max can drive incredibly hard and at the limit without overloading the tyres. He almost reads the tyres.

“That was again the case during qualifying in Abu Dhabi - in which he again went a step further than everyone expected. That's why I think we haven't reached our peak yet."


Of course, Verstappen achievements this season have gone hand in hand with the engineering excellence and supremacy of Red Bull which unarguably produced the most dominant car in F1 history.

But Marko also highlighted the crucial contribution of its engine supplier, Honda, whose power unit proved as mighty as it was reliable all season long.

"He [Verstappen] is very confident, but no longer fights when he doesn't need to and yet he does just keep getting faster, and handles the material well,” Marko added.

“But all this I never thought possible and that is why I don't see any limits at the top at the moment.


"I must thank our staff in England and at Honda. Honda made an incredibly competitive engine. In addition, the engine was stable, also in terms of fuel consumption.

“But such an achievement is only possible in a team where everyone works with full passion, dedication and enthusiasm.

“And I think that is characteristic of our team. We concentrate on ourselves and make sure that we win as many races as possible."

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