Helmut Marko

In the picturesque city of Graz, Austria, on April 27, 1943, a future racing titan took his first breath. Little did the world know what was to come! The Red Bull F1 advisor, Helmut Marko, has developed a reputation for being a bit of an old curmudgeon. He says what he wants and is not worried about the consequences.

“He’s a communication manager’s nightmare. When he goes rogue, then you guys [the press] only have to prod him and you’ll get a headline.
But he just calls it as he sees it. He will tell you exactly what he thinks which in many respects is very similar to how Niki Lauda was.
That same generation, same makeup in many ways. But there’s a great respect for Helmut and what he’s done and contributed over the years and at 80 years of age, he’s still looking for purple sectors.”

Red Bull Team Principal, Christian Horner

Join us as we delve into the life of Helmut Marko. This is the captivating saga of Helmut Marko in the world of motorsports.

Where and When was Helmut Marko Born?

Helmut Marko was born on April 27, 1943, in Graz, Austria.

His birthplace would eventually become a significant starting point for his remarkable journey in the world of motorsports.

Helmut Marko’s Schooling

Marko’s early education laid the foundation for his future endeavors. He studied law at the University of Graz, obtaining a doctorate in law, and briefly practiced as a lawyer.

His passion for motorsports would eventually steer him away from the legal world and into the realm of racing.

Is Helmut Marko Married?

Yes, Helmut Marko is married. He wed Beatrix in 1994, and they have been together ever since. The couple keeps their personal life relatively private, focusing more on Marko’s professional involvement in motorsports.

Does Helmut Marco Have Children?

The couple also has two children,

  • A daughter named Isabella.
  • A son named Johannes.

Helmut Marko – Net Worth

Helmut Marko is reputed to have a net worth of $1.9 Million.

Source : Networth Post

How Did Helmut Marko Get into Racing?

Helmut Marko’s journey into the world of racing started with his own experiences as a driver. He began racing in the late 1960s, primarily competing in sports car races and endurance events.

His passion for speed and competition gradually led him to Formula 1.

Did Helmut Marko Race in F1?

Yes, Helmut Marko did race in Formula 1. He made his debut in 1971, driving for the newly established team BRM. His Formula 1 career was short-lived due to an unfortunate accident.

Helmut Marko Eye

In the 1972 French Grand Prix a stone thrown up by another car hit him in the eye.

It hit Marko in the eye, causing severe injury and leading to the end of his professional racing career.

Helmut Marko’s F1 Career

Helmut Marko has maintained his connection to Formula 1.

After his accident, he transitioned from being a driver. He held various roles behind the scenes, including team management and advisory positions.

What Were Helmut Marko’s Greatest Motor Racing Achievements?

While Marko’s personal racing career was brief, his contributions to motorsports as a team manager and advisor have been significant.

One of his most notable achievements is his instrumental role in shaping Red Bull Racing’s success in Formula 1.

Under his guidance, Red Bull Racing secured multiple drivers’ and constructors’ championships. It has established itself as a dominant force in the sport.

“Helmut, at his core, is a racing enthusiast. He was a skilled driver himself before his accident and he’s always been straightforward.
“When it comes to young drivers, he’s chosen some real gems. He doesn’t go easy on these rookies, but the way I see it, if they can’t handle Helmut, they aren’t cut out for Formula 1.”

Christian Horner

What Role Does Helmut Marko Play at Red Bull?

Helmut Marko has played a pivotal role at Red Bull Racing as an advisor.

He has a keen eye in identifying young talent and nurturing their careers through Red Bull’s extensive driver development program.

His involvement in driver scouting and development has led to the emergence of talents like Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, and Daniel Ricciardo.

Recent Controversial Statements by Helmut Marko

Helmut Marko

Over time, Marko’s no-holds-barred comments have frequently caused controversies, with Horner conceding that journalist “just need to poke him a bit” to “snag a headline”.

Some examples of this include the following.

COVID-19 Immunity

During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Helmut Marko made a controversial statement that caught widespread attention. He suggested that Red Bull’s Formula 1 drivers should consider deliberately contracting the virus to build immunity.

He implied that it might be beneficial for them in the long run. This suggestion was met with criticism and concern from various quarters, including health experts and the motorsport community.

Red Bull Racing quickly clarified the statement, emphasizing their commitment to following health guidelines and ensuring the safety of their drivers and staff.

Ricciardo’s Departure Explanation

When Daniel Ricciardo decided to leave Red Bull Racing and join Renault for the 2019 Formula 1 season, Helmut Marko’s explanation for the departure raised eyebrows.

Marko hinted that Ricciardo’s move was motivated by the fear of being outperformed by his then-teammate Max Verstappen.

This statement generated controversy as it cast doubt on Ricciardo’s professional decision and painted an unflattering picture of the team dynamics at Red Bull Racing.

Youth vs. Experience Comments

In the midst of intense rivalry between the young talents of Max Verstappen and the more experienced drivers in Formula 1, Helmut Marko stirred the pot with his comments.

He openly criticized some of the older drivers for being past their prime and expressed his preference for younger, more aggressive talents.

This sparked a debate within the motorsport community, with many feeling that Marko’s remarks discredited the value of experience and skill that the seasoned drivers brought to the sport.

On the FIA’s response to Red Bull’s dominance

In an article by Express, Marko suggested that the FIA will try to ‘screw over’ Red Bull next year in an attempt to curb their spell of dominance. 

What Has Helmut Markle Said about Drivers on other Teams?

Here are three examples where Red Bull F1 advisor Helmut Marko has spoken about other drivers.

Helmut Marko – Sergio Perez

Red Bull F1 Racing Sergio Perez

In an article by PlanetF1, Marko said that only Alonso and Hamilton can be nearer to Verstappen than Sergio Perez has managed to achieve. 

Helmut Marko – Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes - - Helmut Markle

Marko is quite vocal about Lewis Hamilton.

  • He said that Hamilton has great acting skills and does not lack much to go to Hollywood.
  • In an article by Essentially Sports, Marko said that Hamilton has used every tool to put pressure on Max this season.
  • He also said that Hamilton looked in the mirror and pushed Max off the track at Jeddah and that it is not fair to run such a campaign against a 24-year-old.

Helmut Marko – Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso’s height and weight
  • Marko joked that Fernando Alonso should have retired after Max Verstappen lapped him at Imola. 
  • In an article by PlanetF1, Marko claimed that Alonso had talks with Red Bull ahead of his return to Formula 1 in 2021. 
  • He said that Alonso to Red Bull can be filed under the ‘dream moves that never happened’ category in Formula 1.

Helmut Marko – Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc award - - Helmut Markle
Charles Leclerc award

He is generally quite positive about Charles Leclerc, but there have been instances where is critical.

  • In an article by ESPN, Marko criticized Leclerc for his aggressive move on Verstappen at the Austrian Grand Prix in 2019.
  • He said that Leclerc had pushed Verstappen off the track and that it was a clear case of unfair driving. He also said the stewards should have penalized Leclerc.

Helmut Marko – Carlos Sainz

Carlos Sainz Height - Helmut Markle
  • In May 2022, Marko took a dig at Sainz’s multiple crashes in the season and questioned how they would affect Ferrari’s budget under the cost cap. He said: “Especially since I wonder what effect it has on them that Carlos Sainz has already crashed the car several times. That can’t be cheap.”
  • In July 2022, Marko revealed that the atmosphere between Sainz and Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso was “quite toxic” and that Sainz was “unfairly saddled with the image of being the spoiled son of a racing driver”. He also said that Verstappen was the faster driver despite having less experience.
  • In March 2023, Marko defended Red Bull’s domination of F1 and dismissed the complaints of fans and rivals. He said: “We are not here to please anyone. We are here to win. If Ferrari or Mercedes or anyone else can’t keep up, that’s their problem. Carlos Sainz should focus on his own performance instead of defending us. He is still far behind his teammate Charles Leclerc.”


Helmut Marko’s journey in motorsports has been one of twists and turns, from a promising racing career cut short by injury to a second life as a key figure in the management of one of Formula 1’s most successful teams. His impact on Red Bull Racing’s dominance and his eye for identifying young talent showcase his enduring dedication to the world of motorsports.

While his statements might sometimes generate controversy, his commitment to the sport remains unwavering.

By Jonny Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jonny Noble I’m a dedicated F1 Writer – and I’ve Been One for Over Four Decades, I’ve been intimately immersed in the world of Formula One for more than 44 years. That’s longer than most professional commentators can boast! As an independent writer, I offer a unique perspective on the entire F1 landscape, free from biases that might cloud the discussion. We dive deep into the exhilarating, frustrating, and captivating facets of the F1 universe. So, regardless of my amateur status, one thing is undeniable: four decades of dedicated F1 fandom have forged strong opinions worth exploring!