Max Verstappen already better than Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull chief claims

Vettel won the world championship four times during his spell with Red Bull

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko believes Max Verstappen has already proven himself to be a more accomplished driver than four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel, 34, won consecutive drivers’ titles with Red Bull between 2010 and 2013 before leaving for Ferrari in 2015.

Verstappen, 24, joined Red Bull in 2016 and swiftly broke Vettel’s record as the youngest driver to ever win an F1 Grand Prix, claiming victory in Spain at the age of just 18 years and 228 days.

Then last month he clinched his first world championship with a dramatic victory in Abu Dhabi, passing Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the season to end the Brit’s hopes of a record-breaking eighth title.

And Marko, who has been with Red Bull since 1999, believes Verstappen’s credentials have eclipsed anyone else he has seen during his time with the team.

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When asked whether Verstappen is the best driver he has worked with, Marko responded: “Yes, without a doubt he is.”

He then went on to explain his reasoning, adding: “What makes him stand out the most? He doesn’t need a warm-up [lap].

“If it rains somewhere, the others do five or eight laps. Then Max goes out and sets the fastest time on the first lap.

“Or Jeddah – nobody knew the track. The others were driving again, Max goes out…bang! Three times [fastest sector]. That is one of his fascinating qualities.”

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