Helmut Marko: “Nothing has been decided” on my F1 future

Jaden Diaz
19 Dec, 2023

Helmut Marko will discuss his future with Red Bull next week, with his contract at the team expiring in 2024. As the Austrian team adjusts its management structure, Marko’s position is uncertain.

Over the last fifteen years, the Red Bull Academy has produced many success stories. Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen are the most prominent examples of this.

However, this does not mean the reigning Champions have always been efficient with their junior programme. Just last season, Red Bull had 7 of their juniors competing in Formula 2, obviously requiring a huge investment.

Most of these drivers – if not all of them – will fail to reach F1. Using this more critical lens, Helmut Marko’s approach can be scrutinised.

Only last summer, Helmut Marko made the knee-jerk decision to give Nyck de Vries an AlphaTauri contract. After less than six months of competing, De Vries was replaced by the 8-time race winner Ricciardo.

Liam Lawson (NZL) AlphaTauri AT04.
01.09.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, Practice Day.
– www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Staley / XPB Images

Perhaps more significantly, Liam Lawson proved (as he replaced an injured Ricciardo) that he deserves an F1 seat. Remembering that Marko expected De Vries to outperform Tsunoda in 2023, his judgement is not flawless.

Marko even has admitted that Christian Horner disagreed with the decision to hire De Vries. However, the 80-year-old was ultimately able to finalise the deal.

None of this suggests that Marko isn’t capable of spotting talent. Nor is it an effort to diminish his role in Red Bull’s success. Instead, the above information serves as a reminder that – for every star Red Bull uncovers – many others are cast aside.

From a financial and practical perspective, this is not ideal. As a result, changes have been made to reduce Marko’s influence in the academy.

Moving forward, this has created uncertainties about his future in the team. With his contract expiring in 2024, the Austrian is open about the current situation:

“There are different currents and variants. The decisions are still open – including what I will do next,” he told 0E24.

“My current contract expires in 2024. 

“There is now an expanded circle of people [that make big decisions]…

“The overall package has to fit. Nothing has been decided yet.”