Helmut Marko has explained that one particular race meeting convinced him that Max Verstappen was worth signing to the Red Bull programme back in 2014.
Racing for Van Amersfoort in Formula 3, the Dutch driver took a second hat-trick of wins at the Norisring in changeable weather conditions, and Marko explained that that particular meeting grabbed his attention.
"The conditions were constantly changing. It rained, dried up – and there he was, I think, an average of two seconds faster than everyone else," Marko said on ServusTV.
"And then it was clear that this was an extraordinary talent."
Invited to Graz for a conversation about joining the Red Bull junior programme, the young Verstappen went on to impress Marko even further during their lengthy meeting, thanks to some extra preparation using the experience of father Jos, who raced in F1 until the early 2000s.
"He prepared well and that was one of the longest conversations I've had with a driver," Marko explained.
"It just went deep and I noticed what will and what ambition [there is]," says Marko, "but also what preparation in the past that he [made] with his father under very harsh conditions."