Apr.3 - Dr Helmut Marko insists he has "no worries" about a recurrence of the brake problem that led to Max Verstappen's ultra-rare retirement in Melbourne.

The top Red Bull consultant says Verstappen, who nonetheless continues to lead the drivers' standings but only by 5 points, has coped well with the setback.

"Unfortunately, defects like that happen sometimes," said the 80-year-old Austrian. "In the meantime, Max has been skiing in Japan in the most wonderful deep snow in the world."

Marko, who was being interviewed by the Austrian newspaper Osterreich, was asked if Verstappen's skiing session contravenes a clause in his contract about engaging in dangerous activities off-track.

"I've already told you too much," he responded.

As for whether Red Bull has fixed the brake caliper problem that reportedly led to the fiery Melbourne failure, Marko told Laola1: "Max's brake broke and the exact cause is still being investigated.

"But it wasn't the caliper. It's more of an assembly issue, but that will be checked. I have no worries for Japan, that's not a problem," he insisted.

Marko also dismissed Sergio Perez's slow pace in Australia as the result of damage to the floor, with "the lack of downforce also increasing tyre wear".

"Suzuka is now a power track that suits us and Max is always great there," he insisted. "I'm very optimistic."

In Japan, Red Bull will be without a familiar face in the form of long-time chief mechanic Lee Stevenson, who according to Blick newspaper will instead be in the Audi-owned Sauber garage at Suzuka.

"He began his new job on Monday with a flight to Japan," reports veteran correspondent Roger Benoit.

McLaren, meanwhile, has parted ways with former Ferrari aero chief David Sanchez, a mere three months into his new role as car concept technical director. Team boss Andrea Stella temporarily fills the void.

"Upon our joint reflection, it became apparent that the role, responsibilities and ambitions associated with David's position did not align with our original expectations," McLaren explained in a statement.

Finally, Logan Sargeant will have a Williams chassis to race in Japan, having sat out Australia after teammate Alex Albon took over his car following a practice crash.

"The team trackside and back at Grove has really pulled together in an impressive way to repair the car and deliver it to the track on time," Alex Albon said on Wednesday, "which we are all hugely thankful for."

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10 F1 Fan comments on “Marko Says Verstappen's Skiing Adventure Boosts Team Morale

  1. Jere Jyrälä

    How could Max have been skiing without snow anywhere in the country at this time of year?
    Even the northernmost prefectures are too warm for snow, so I don't quite get what Marko means.
    I also wonder how he would've told too much already, although Suzuka is mostly still an aero circuit.
    Finally, Williams may have two full cars to use, but still no spare monocoque on-site, but at least Suzuka has more runoff space than Albert Park, so the risk of ending up in the same situation is lower.

  2. Cutting Corners

    Hakuba in Nagano and
    Niseko or Rusutsu in Hokkaido are both possibilities.
    Snow Season MAY last into May but usually sketchy.
    April MAY have massive powder drops.
    All I know for sure is it wasn't snowing in Okayama in the last fortnight.

    • Jere Jyrälä

      I also checked those locations & they've also been too warm for snow to stay on the ground in recent days.
      Japan generally gets warm quite early into the spring & likewise stays warm deep into the autumn regardless of region, but especially in the middle & more southwards.

    • Jere Jyrälä

      I checked more or less all fitting locations & prefectures for temps over the last few days & more or less identical everywhere.

  3. Cutting Corners

    ABLE Hakuba Goryu Snow Resort
    260 CMS all courses open info @7:27 today

    Hakuba Happo-one Snow Resort
    Same 260 cm @ same time

    Tsugaike Mountain Resort
    abt same time
    236 cm
    All courses open

    Heaps Open til May

    In many locations

    Thanks in-laws

    • Jere Jyrälä

      I don't know how they manage to keep snow on the ground with daytime ambients in the 8-16C range, but I guess some form of magic.

      • Cutting Corners


        Magic indeed

        Last one
        Top lift -1 degrees
        Mid lift 1 degrees
        Bottom lift 3 degrees

        This may be interesting

        Red Bull Edge 20246th - 7th April, 2024
        Pursue “enjoyment” and challenge the limits of carving technology!
        The unique snowboard carving competition that has never been seen before will be held again this year at Hakuba Goryu!

        Any more and I fear it will cost me a very Expy bottle of scotch in June!

          • Cutting Corners

            Absolutely NO ARTIFICIAL.

            Fortunately, the warm trend ended during the last week of February and it has been colder since with winter-like temps and consistent snow during the first two weeks of March. February was a poor month for snowfall in Hakuba. March kicked off with a bang with 61cms in the first week followed by 44cms The result were some the best powder days of the season, the last good falls was on Wednesday when another 30cms fell.

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