Site icon Paddock Magazine

16. Dr Helmut Marko

dr helmut marko

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 18: Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko walks in the paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 18, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images)

Age 79
Occupation Motorsport Consultant, Red Bull
Nationality Austrian
Position Last Year 15

Dr Helmut Marko, an Austrian native born in Graz, attended the same high school as Jochen Rindt, the 1970 Formula One world champion. Despite participating in a number of racing series, including 10 Formula One Grands Prix in 1971 and 1972, Marko did not score any World Championship points.

Click here to subscribe to our print edition!

He was more successful in endurance racing, winning the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans while partnering with Gijs van Lennep in a Martini-Porsche 917K. At an average speed of 222.304 km/h, they achieved an unsurpassed distance record until the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans (5,335.313 km). (Track modifications decreased the average speed.)

In the 1972 Targa Florio, he drove the fastest laps around the 72 km Sicilian mountain circuit. He made up more than two minutes on the leader in just two laps and finished just 17 seconds behind him. He completed the Alfa Romeo 33’s fastest lap in 33 minutes and 41 seconds, averaging 128.253 kilometres per hour.

A few weeks later, on July 2, 1972, during the French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand, a stone thrown by Emerson Fittipaldi’s Lotus pierced Marko’s helmet visor, permanently blinding his left eye and putting an end to his racing career.

In 1967, Helmut Marko earned his doctorate in law. He owns the Schlossberghotel and the Augartenhotel, which are both in Graz. Before founding and managing RSM Marko, a Formula 3 and Formula 3000 racing team, in 1989, he managed Austrian racers Gerhard Berger and Karl Wendlinger for a period of time. From 1999 on, the team was known as Red Bull Junior Team.

Since 1999 he has also overseen the Red Bull driver development programme, which has steered drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen into Formula One. Since 2005 he has been an advisor to the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, and since 2006 he has also advised the Scuderia Toro Rosso (now Scuderia AlphaTauri) Formula One team.

prev View full list next
Exit mobile version