Getty Images

No number one F1 driver at Red Bull, says Marko

Leave a comment

Red Bull Formula 1 advisor Helmut Marko says there is no number one driver at the team, saying that Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo are treated equally.

Verstappen signed a new long-term deal with Red Bull in October, rumored to provide a significant pay hike that Marko denied earlier this week was in the same league as that of world champions Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull said at the time of the Verstappen announcement it would look to build the team around the Dutchman in the future, leading to concerns about Ricciardo’s long-term future, with his contract expiring at the end of next season.

Speaking to the official F1 website, Marko was full of praise for Verstappen’s performances through the year despite a lack of reliability through the middle of the season, but stressed there was no number one driver at the team.

“In qualifying he was most of the time faster. With seven DNFs, his season was not a walk in the park and sometimes his morale was really down,” Marko said of Vertappen.

“But it was a steep learning process for him and he came out better than he was before. His two wins were the proof.

“We don’t have a number one. Both drivers are equally treated and it is up to them to define the pecking order.

“I will always love the faster one!”

Tempers flare as Graham Rahal, Sebastien Bourdais collide at Indy

Leave a comment

INDIANAPOLIS — A multicar crash with just over 20 laps remaining in the Indianapolis 500 had tempers flaring Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Graham Rahal angrily confronted Sebastien Bourdais after the two collided while racing for position entering the third turn. As they spun beside each other, Rahal threw his hands up in the air and continued to gesture wildly at Bourdais as their cars came to a stop.

Rahal scrambled out of his car and went directly to Bourdais’ cockpit to scream at the driver before the safety crew arrived. Rahal then yanked off his gloves and threw them in his car after punching the air a few times.

The crash began after Bourdais’ left rear tire hit Rahal’s right front as they entered the corner and Bourdais seemed to come down on Rahal’s line.

“I’m just very disappointed,” Rahal told NBC Sports after being released from the care center. “It’s just another year to sit and think about it. I respect Sebastien as a driver, but I don’t respect that move.

“At those speeds, that’s how you kill somebody. I’m just not a fan of squeezing and putting people in those positions.”

Bourdais climbed out of his car shortly afterward and seemed unhurt. He was cited for avoidable contact by the IndyCar stewards and seemed somewhat remorseful about the move in an interview with NBC Sports.

“I didn’t think he had as much of the car as he did,” Bourdais said. “It’s always a dynamic thing. He got a run, it stalled there for a while, we made contact, and it sets up the whole thing. At that point. I’m just trying to collect the whole thing. It’s always easy to say I should have given up going into the corner.”

Rahal and Bourdais were former teammates at Newman-Haas Raccing.

“He’s been struggling all day,” Rahal said. “I was lifting a little bit to manage my gap. You can see him squeezing me and turns into me, and there nothing you can do. With 20 to go, you have to go. I think Sebastien knows that, which is probably why he hasn’t said much to me.”

The race was red-flagged at 3:17 p.m. on Lap 180 of 200 to clean up the debris from the multicar pileup.