Following the extremely remunerative deal that Verstappen signed with Red Bull to stay with the Milton Keynes’ team until 2023, Helmut Marko, interviewed by Autosport, has underlined the qualities of Max Verstappen, that make him offer a new contract to the Dutch talent and invest on him to achieve further successes with Red Bull in Formula 1.
Marko admitted that he reckoned the Verstappen’s qualities immediately during the first time they met.
The Red Bull Boss pointed out that Verstappen’s aroused his curiosity at the point that he sat with him for about half an hour, while usually, he spends 20 minutes to analyse a driver and talk about their story.
"He was about 15 years old at the time," said Marko.
"I usually talk to a driver for about 20 minutes to get a picture of his personality and the whole story, but with Max I sat for half an hour.
"There was a young body, but with a mind that was certainly three to five years ahead.
"Now his development has slowly leveled off and his age and maturity have come together. And both are far above average."
Helmut Marko affirmed that he had a long conversation with Verstappen in order to understand how to speed his career development up and get him quickly to a Formula 1 car.
"If someone is 15 years old and has only one year in a formula category behind him, then that's a bold step and also a not insignificant risk," he added.
"But I saw what maturity he had and how much he had learned in his karting time, and with what commitment he approached his racing."
Moreover, recalling that Marko influenced the F1’s regulatory bodies to change the limits on how young drivers need to be to access to Formula 1, the Red Bull boss concluded stating that the super licence points structure should be revised in order to allow more youngsters that have the potential to succeed to enter the competition.
"I hope that this will be revised because there are many drivers who have 40 points but not the potential to succeed in Formula 1," he said.
"And then there are many youngsters who would have the speed but not the necessary points."