‘We are constantly criticised’: Helmut Marko lashes out at critics

Red Bull have been criticised for the manner in which they’ve discarded young drivers who failed to meet their expectations.  

Senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has slammed critics of the team’s young driver programme.

Numerous drivers have gone through Red Bull’s junior teams and been handed an opportunity in the pinnacle of motorsport.

However, most have failed to live up to expectations or opted to leave Red Bull for other reasons.

For instance, Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz both decided to ditch Red Bull Racing despite showing plenty of promise in Formula 1.

Ricciardo, specifically, decided it was time to leave the team as he felt then-teammate Max Verstappen was being favoured by Christian Horner and Dr Marko.

READ: Toto Wolff reacts to claim he wants to replace Lewis Hamilton

Several other drivers were terminated by Red Bull, and while some managed to return to the sport with another team, most ended up leaving Formula 1 for good.

However, the Austrian insisted that even drivers who don’t have long careers with Red Bull in Formula 1 nevertheless benefit from the programme in the long run.

Speaking during the sport’s Summer break, Dr Marko said: “We train drivers for Formula 1. We were the first to decide on this. Others followed our example, but they didn’t do it on the same scale.

Article continues below

“But as soon as we get rid of the drivers, we are constantly criticised.”

Continuing, the senior Red Bull advisor emphasised that most of their drivers go on to have successful careers in other elite racing series, such as DTM and Formula E.

“I do not agree with these criticisms. 95% of the drivers who grow in our program and compete in DTM, GT and Formula E earn much more than they normally would

“Sometimes they have more than 15 years of career in the sport they love. It’s our young driver program that laid the foundation for that,” he added.

READ: Guenther Steiner tells fans not to ‘judge’ Haas upgrades in Spa and Monza

Red Bull ace Verstappen looks set to defend his 2021 championship, with him going into the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix with an 80-point advantage over second-placed Charles Leclerc.

Red Bull, meanwhile, are in an excellent position to win their first Constructors’ Championship since 2013.

Specifically, they are 97 points ahead of Ferrari, who have arguably had the faster car at many races this season, but have given away countless points due to poor reliability, strategic errors, and mistakes by their drivers.