Marko rules out former Red Bull juniors return to Formula 1

21-01-2020 18:30
by Bevan Youl
F1 News
Marko rules out former Red Bull juniors return to Formula 1

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing advisor Dr Helmut Marko has ruled out a return to Formula 1 for previous juniors despite a lack of ready to go drivers in their ranks at the moment.

Red Bull has long been a team for promoting through their own grown talent to F1 through Toro Rosso, which will be known as Alpha Tauri from 2020, up to the senior team.
But in recent years the energy drinks team has had a shortage of available drivers to make the step up, with them re-signing Brendon Hartley in 2018 after dropping him in 2010, as well as Daniil Kvyat in 2019 after being dropped in 2017.
Former drivers of the junior system Sebastian Buemi and Jean-Eric Vergne have both gone on to have success in Formula E, both winning the championship, but Marko feels a return to F1 isn’t an option.
"The topic is closed. They have made careers in other directions and other motorsport categories,” he said as quoted by Autosport.

"Now, if a Jean-Eric Vergne wins Formula E, it's something completely different from the requirements that we have in Formula 1.

"Because there he would be more or less a complete newcomer. It would take him a whole season to get used to the specialities of a Pirelli tyre. So for that reason alone, it's all in the past.

"But when you look around, a lot of our juniors are successful. They earn good money and have turned their hobby into a profession. That is great."

Hartley and Kvyat being re-signed to the team weren’t the only two as Alex Albon returned for 2019 alongside the Russian, earning himself a promotion to the senior team, but Marko feels their standards aren’t too high.

"You have to understand that from a philosophical point of view,” he added.

"At first the junior team was a kind of patronage because everybody knew how expensive motorsport is and [Red Bull owner Dietrich] Mateschitz said that we want to give drivers a chance.

"But then suddenly we had two Formula 1 teams. And then it was clear that supporting someone because they are relatively successful is not enough.

"It was decided that they must at least have the potential to win a grand prix. And that's why the selection has become more rigorous.

"I can't quite understand these points of criticism, because we finance drivers for a full season or two, without these funds they would never have got into this situation at all.”

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