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

The Red Bull Advisor is renowned for their demanding approach with drivers, pushing them to perform at their best on the racetrack.

Helmut Marko, as Red Bull’s advisor, not only holds a key role in overseeing the team but also plays a crucial part in identifying and nurturing emerging talents for Formula 1. 

Notable drivers like Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, and Daniel Ricciardo have risen through the ranks of the Red Bull Junior Driver program under Marko’s guidance, achieving success on the race track. 

However, the program is recognized for its competitive and demanding nature, led by Marko.

Jak Crawford, an American currently competing in Formula 2, and who recently departed from the Red Bull Junior Team, thinks that such expectations contribute to the pressure placed on drivers to perform.

“I think the hardest things are obviously the pressure and expectation that is set on you,” Crawford expressed this 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.”

Crawford, successful in both Formula 2 and Formula 3, remembers instances when Marko would provide him with candid and direct feedback after races.

Crawford continued by saying; “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,”

“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.”