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max verstappens trusted ally opens up on decision to quit red bull it was like a break up
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Max Verstappen’s trusted ally opens up on decision to quit Red Bull – ‘It was like a break up

Max Verstappen’s former performance coach Brad Scanes admitted it was “like a break-up” when he told the world champion he was leaving. Scanes served as one of the Dutchman’s closest aids whilst at Red Bull, working alongside him from 2020 until 2023, a period which spanned his first world championship and subsequent dominance. Scanes recently opted to walk away and admitted it was difficult leaving Verstappen’s inner circle. It is no secret that the world champion keeps things tight around him, but Scanes was fully accepted as he dined with the driver, his manager and his father Jos on numerous occasions. As a result, having that initial chat stirred serious emotions. He told the Sky Sports F1 podcast: “For me it was beautiful – I really was part of the family. I’d get invited to birthdays and stuff, if I was in Monaco I’d be round his or I’d go out for dinner with his manager, a beer with his Dad. I think that was probably the hardest thing about leaving, having that initial conversation with them was like a break-up, it really was. The nerves and the hesitancy before that chat was hard.” Scanes’ role, by his own admission, was taking care of everything so that Verstappen could solely focus on the driving. Ever since he entered the sport in 2015, it was evident that the Dutchman had mercurial talent, which led to his first race win in Catalunya in 2016. 2021 proved to be the year he reached the pinnacle as he won out in a dramatic title fight with Lewis Hamilton. Scanes admits that year led to a mindset shift with the Red Bull driver often going for broke in pursuit of victory. His development meant he learnt to accept second place with his eyes on a great prize. His former coach added: “He wants to win and for me, I had a similar mentality, not as a sportsman but within my own field, which is why we got on so well. We had a very good ability to build around each weekend, see it as a final we went out to win. Actually 2021 was a shift we had to make in that coming second and scoring points because we needed the points.” Scanes has confessed that, whilst he ensured Verstappen was physically primed to take on the demands of driving an F1 car, he also did the less glamour tasks – which included the world champion’s laundry. “I wasn’t just taking his underwear every night,” he joked. “We would usually run with six sets of everything across a race weekend. Technically that is enough to see you through, but it might not leave you with a spare. So everything he would wear on Friday I’d sort the laundry so we had it back for Sunday and have a spare. “If there’s a red flag, chucking it down with rain or he’s seriously sweating we can swap it at any point. They only wear an under top and a suit once as we’re racing in hot countries a lot of the time.”

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