Max Verstappen’s manager Raymond Vermeulen is back in the paddock at the French Grand Prix after both he and Max’s father Jos missed the Canadian race.
Verstappen enjoyed a strong weekend in Montreal, and some observers suggested that the absence of his management team – for the first time in his F1 career – had been a benefit for the Dutchman.
However Vermeulen has downplayed the benefits, and said the experiment was always in the schedule.
“Already at the start of the season we made an internal plan about which grands prix we would attend,” he told Autosport.
“There was an idea discussed together with the team to have Max on his own for a race, so we said ‘OK, let’s do it for Canada.’
“That was the whole story. There will be some more races where Max will be on his own, but that was already in the pipeline.
“We have a very good relationship, we discuss everything together with Red Bull.
“It was a try out, the first race Max was on his own, but no special message behind that.
“It’s also part of his development that he doesn’t need someone around every race.
“For example, I’m here this weekend, Jos is coming to Austria and I’ll be there too. At Silverstone Max is on his own, Jos is going to Hungary, and at Spa we will be together.”
Vermeulen believes the change in approach did not directly impact Verstappen’s performance in Canada.
He added: “Max said he had a very good weekend. He was on his own, but still guided by his trainer.
“He went to dinner with Helmut [Marko] or his mechanics, and he just had a race weekend like any other. I don’t think there was a big difference.
“At 20 years old I think he’s old enough to go to a track on his own. It’s not a big thing.
“Of course this is getting a dimension now because the performance was there, and there were some comments in the press.
“But in the past he had podiums when I was here or Jos was here, so the performance was also there when we were around.”