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- Updated: May 18, 2017
Red Bull boss Helmut Marko confirmed recent reports that Max Verstappen’s father Jos is taking on an official role at the team.
Former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, whose teenage son now drives for Red Bull, was said to be pondering a chance to become a talent scout for the team. Marko, who runs Red Bull’s driver program, confirmed this news on Thursday.
“This is a good cooperation and expansion of the Red Bull junior team,” he said.
Marko said 45-year-old Verstappen, who oversaw his 19-year-old son’s sharp rise in the sport, will help Red Bull find a lot of other talented drivers from across the various circuits.
“It is a question of time, as there are clashes with junior races so that I cannot see them,” said Marko. “So, we asked if he has the time and the inclination to visit certain races for us.”
He revealed that Jos’ first assignment will be at the F3 race in Pau in France this weekend. But, there is a lot more for Jos to do that merely tracking the top youngsters.
“Jos was always closely involved in karting,” he said. “He can not only coach the drivers with his experience but also look at the teams.
“The success in the development phase that he managed with Max is obvious.”
Marko further went on to talk about how much Formula One has grown since the entry of Liberty Media.
During the Spanish Grand Prix, a distraught young Ferrari fan was plucked out of the grandstand by Formula One management staff so that he could meet Kimi Raikkonen and get a signed cap. The youngster even got a chance to watch all the action live straight from the paddock.
“I don’t know if something like that was possible under the old management,” Chase Carey, who replaced the ousted long-time F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, had earlier told Auto Motor und Sport.
Apart from that, there was also a F1-branded white two-seater Minardi doing laps all weekend in Barcelona.
“There are new ideas from race to race,” said Marko.
“We (Red Bull) have often had ideas that were not supported, but it’s no longer about things imposed from above, but a cooperation to make the whole event more attractive.”