The conflict between Max Verstappen and Helmut Marko continues to increase after the Red Bull boss’s shocking announcement

Red Bull chief SNUBS Verstappen in best drivers debate

Red Bull boss Helmut Marko has overlooked his star driver Max Verstappen as he delivered his verdict on the best driving duo in the Formula 1 paddock.

The three-time world champion currently holds a 56-point lead over his nearest rival, Charles Leclerc, in the drivers’ standings, but has struggled to hit top form so far this season.

The 26-year-old has already been beaten by Leclerc in Monaco, as well as Lando Norris in Miami and Carlos Sainz in Australia in what has been a campaign of up-and-down performances.

Verstappen did, however, seal his sixth win of the year – and 60th overall in F1 – at last weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, taking advantage of a timely safety car intervention in the closing stages to nudge ahead of Norris.

Verstappen celebrated his sixth win of the season in MontrealSergio Perez has partnered Max Verstappen since 2021Problems mount for Perez

Though the Dutchman is still bringing in significant points for Red Bull, the same cannot be said of his team-mate, Sergio Perez.

The Mexican recently signed a new deal with the reigning constructors’ champions, but many have questioned that move, pointing to a series of lacklustre displays during both qualifying and race days.

Perez – who has partnered Verstappen since 2021 – crashed out in Monaco and Canada, and currently sits fifth on the championship leaderboard.

Red Bull boss Marko has now claimed that the duo cannot currently be considered the best pairing in the paddock.

Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have impressed for McLaren this season

In an interview with Canadian media outlet, Le Journal de Montreal, the 81-year-old instead picked out the McLaren drivers – Norris and Oscar Piastri – for special praise when quizzed on the sport’s top talents.

“Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri at McLaren – they are young and they are hungry,” said the Austrian.

“Currently, they get along well and work well together.”

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