Reigning Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen says he wanted to join Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo in driving an F1 car around the Nordschleife but was blocked by Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.
Vettel will drive a Red Bull F1 car for the first time since 2014 when he’s reunited with his 2011 title-winning Red Bull RB7 in September for a special demonstration event on the iconic German circuit, using synthetic, carbon-neutral E-fuel.
He’ll be joined by Red Bull’s current third driver and his ex-team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who will use the RB8 as they complete the first official F1 running on the Nordschleife since 2012.
Verstappen has revealed on the eve of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix weekend that he wanted to join them at the special event but was warned off it by Marko.
“I wanted to do it but I was not allowed from Helmut,” he said. “He knew I’d try to go to the limit. I would have loved to do it.
“I heard this thing was coming up and Helmut, because I think we were sitting at a table when it came up, he was like ‘no, no, no you’re not doing that’.”
When he was asked why he didn’t use his influence within Red Bull to overrule Marko, Verstappen said: “I don’t want to start unnecessary issues. I found it quite funny.”
The demonstration event will take place as part of the Red Bull Formula Nurburgring festival on September 9 as part of the Nurburgring 12 Hours, on the weekend in between the Italian and Singapore Grands Prix.
Verstappen was asked if the opportunity was denied because of the risk.
“Well it’s also risky to drive here [in Montreal],” Verstappen pointed out. “It depends how you hit a barrier. But that’s normally not the plan of course, hopefully one day I’ll get to do it.”
He added that “ideally” he’d get a chance to drive the Nordschleife in the future in an F1 car, “but if that’s not allowed, hopefully one day in a GT3 car or whatever”.