Former Red Bull junior on Marko: ‘He’s brutally honest’


Helmut Marko might be advisor to Red Bull, but he plays an important role in spotting their upcoming talent who could race for them in Formula 1.

The likes of Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, and Daniel Ricciardo have come through the Red Bull Junior Driver programme and went on to become race winners for the F1 team.

But even though they have brought drivers success, the programme has been known to be a cut throat operation with Marko at the helm.

American Jak Crawford, who currently races in Formula 2 and recently left the Red Bull Junior Team, believes this is part of what puts pressure on them to deliver.

“I think the hardest things are obviously the pressure and expectation that is set on you,” said Crawford when speaking to Racer.

“He puts a lot of faith in his drivers, but he also expects a lot. And sometimes, if you’re not directly in the F2 paddock, knowing what’s going on, it can be difficult to tell with regards to team performance or driver performance and stuff like that.

“So sometimes that can play a factor in how he sees things. But definitely the biggest thing is, the last thing you want is to have a bad weekend and receiving a phone call from Helmut to say to come meet him.”

Marko very short and to the point

Crawford, who has won races in Formula 2 and competed in Formula 3, recalls moments when Marko would be “brutally honest” to him after races.

“He’s very busy, so you end up waiting on him. And then you sit there and he just walks up, and then he says, ‘So…’ in a very deep voice! Then he asks ‘What happened?’ And his conversations are very short, very straight to the point,” said Crawford.

“Sometimes he’s brutally honest. That’s the right way to say it. Sometimes it can be too brutally honest, where it can be unfair at times, if you want to say, but it’s not so bad. To me it was very, very short, and very to the point.”



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