Marko heaps praise on Verstappen and issues warning to F1 rivals

Red Bull claimed a dominant 1-2 at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix with Max Verstappen claiming his third win of the F1 season


At the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull‘s strategy and Max Verstappen’s skill proved unbeatable, securing a dominant victory for the Dutchman with Helmut Marko giving Verstappen the highest praise. 

The win was Verstappen’s third of the 2024 Formula 1 season,  with Verstappen’s performance on old tyres during the closing stages of the race a demonstration of his prowess. 

“We dominated from the first lap,” Marko told the press. “This was one of the best races this season. 

“The pit stops were super fast (2.1 seconds) and the strategy perfect. Furthermore, we adjusted the wing setup before the race. We reacted, very well to the changed conditions.”

Race winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium after the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix |  Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Race winner Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium after the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Marko added: “Nobody can beat Verstappen.” And when asked about the possibility of the Dutchman winning the next 20 races, all Marko could do was laugh.

“I don’t want to think about that at all yet. But Max is in total control.” 

Finally, Marko highlighted an example of Verstappen’s dominance in Japan as the world champion claimed the fastest lap on old tyres a the end of the race. 

“That’s a psychological statement to the rest [of the drivers] to show them, ‘hey, this is what I’m about’.” 

The win not only solidifies Verstappen‘s lead in the Drivers’ Championship but also propels Red Bull closer to breaking records and achieving new milestones in Formula 1​.

Yuki Tsunoda also in line for praise 

It wasn’t just the Red Bull driver who pleased Marko in Japan, hometown hero Yuki Tsunoda of RB secured a 10th place finish for his team, and with it a valuable point for the Constructors’ Championship. He also became the first Japanese driver to score a point in his home race in 12 years.

“It’s very unusual that the silly season has started so early and contracts are already being signed in April,” Marko stated. “But we won’t let ourselves be pressurised. 

“We’ll follow everything closely and then we will make a decision later. That will probably be sometime in the summer. 

“But Yuki has been consistent this season and his mistakes are a thing of the past. Also, he now has himself under control on the team radio.”

John Smith
John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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