Helmut Marko, born on April 27, 1943, in Graz, is an Austrian racing driver turned team executive at Red Bull Racing, where he oversees the young driver development program.
In 1970, Marko claimed victory in the P 3L category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans driving a Porsche 908 and finished fourth in the FIA European Touring Car Championship (ETCC). The following year, he secured the same position in the championship.
His most significant triumph remains the 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours, where he and Gijs van Lennep emerged victorious in a Porsche 917 K entered by the Martini Racing Team, featuring a magnesium chassis for the occasion. In the same year, Marko also clinched the European Sportscar Championship driving a Lola T210, securing three victories.
The years 1970 and 1971 saw Marko winning the Le Mans Performance Index on two occasions.
Helmut Marko F1 career – Journey
A childhood friend of Jochen Rindt, Marko participated in nine Formula 1 Grand Prix races, making his debut on August 15, 1971, at the German Grand Prix. Unfortunately, he didn’t have the opportunity to score any points in the World Drivers’ Championship. His Formula 1 career was abruptly halted by an accident during the 1972 French Grand Prix at the Charade circuit. A stone thrown by the car ahead struck him in the face, causing the loss of an eye, while he was running in sixth place, marking his best Formula 1 race up to that point. Just a week before, he had finished second in the 1,000 kilometers of Zeltweg. His eighth-place finish in the rainy 1972 Monaco Grand Prix stands as his best performance in Formula 1.
Marko’s Post-Racing Impact
Following his racing career, Marko remained active in the motorsport world, establishing his own team (RSM Marko), which excelled in Formula 3000 during the 1990s. A close friend of energy drink magnate Dietrich Mateschitz, he then took on the role of overseeing Red Bull Racing’s young driver detection program through its development pipeline. Alongside Christian Horner and Adrian Newey, he became one of the key figures on the Red Bull Racing team in the Grand Prix universe.
Helmut Marko F1 career Helmut Marko F1 career Helmut Marko F1 career