Marko answers the critics: "Without our support, drivers won't get a chance"

18-01-2020 08:36
by Matt Gretton
F1 News
Marko answers the critics: Without our support, drivers won't get a chance

The third round of the 2019/20 Formula E season gets underway on Saturday. Former Aston Martin Red Bull Racing junior driver Jean-Eric Vergne is bidding for his third championship in the all-electric series. In order to win the previous two, he had to defeat many other former Red Bull talents. 

The Red Bull Junior team is the most successful driver academy in the Formula 1 paddock. It has produced the likes of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel, but just recently the conveyor belt has slowed down. Helmut Marko and his team have been saying goodbye to drivers more often than not. Five are currently showcasing their skills in Formula E this season (Vergne, Brandon Hartley, Antonio Felix da Costa, Neel Jani and Sebastien Buemi.) 

“Even though a Jean-Eric Vergne wins Formula E again, his driver profile is completely different from what we need in Formula 1. He would be more or less a complete beginner. You need an entire season to get used to the Pirelli tires," Marko told 

Marko doesn't think the criticism is justified 

The Red Bull Racing team advisor doesn't believe the drivers are being pushed towards the exit door too quickly. In his eyes, the academy continues to be a success. He explains how the criteria for an Alpha Tauri or Red Bull Racing driver has become harder to achieve. 

“We finance these people for one or two full seasons. Without that support, they would not even get this chance. In the beginning, the junior team was only meant to support certain drivers, but now a talent must have the potential to win a Grand Prix. The selection is, therefore, stricter," Marko responds. 


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