Marko Reveals Daniel Ricciardo’s Manager Led to Major Standoff at Red Bull




Serious, strict, brutally honest, and an eye for talent. When picturing all these qualities together in an individual in F1, the image of Dr. Helmut Marko may pop up in your mind. He has dealt with top-level drivers at Red Bull like Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardo.

When the energy drinks outfit was making its way into F1, he was more radical. Certain drivers like Ricciardo did not always see eye-to-eye with him. His demeanor sometimes pushed them to the edge of the cliff.

NUERBURG, GERMANY – OCTOBER 11: Red Bull Racing Team Consultant Dr Helmut Marko and Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto talk on the grid before the F1 Eifel Grand Prix at Nuerburgring on October 11, 2020 in Nuerburg, Germany. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

However, the Australian believes that Marko has toned down in recent years.

Talking about why he is more gentle now, the Red Bull advisor said, “We are now an established team. We no longer have to act consistently, but also have to make sure that the team atmosphere is right.”

Coming to the end of Ricciardo’s tenure with the team, he and Marko had some heated exchanges. Marko attributes it to the contract standoffs that they had since the ‘Honey Badger’ negotiated his own contracts.

“At some point, Ricciardo came along with a manager, whom he then broke up with, with a bunch of money that he had to pay him. I predicted all of that. I more or less refused to negotiate with this manager, but rather I did that with Ricciardo. That sometimes resulted in a tense situation.

“But generally there is a very good relationship.”

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – November 26, 2020 Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

What Daniel Ricciardo had previously said about Dr. Marko

Marko was responding to the earlier statements that the Renault driver had made about him. It was in retaliation to Marko’s complimentary remarks about their young drivers like Yuki Tsunoda. In contrast, he was always more demanding with Ricciardo.

“Helmut has softened a bit in the last few years. Maybe it was because I was younger then, but I have to admit: When I had a personal conversation with him, I was always pretty fed up at the beginning! But I have the feeling that he is nicer now than he was then,” said Ricciardo.

SUZUKA, JAPAN – OCTOBER 02: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Red Bull Racing talks with Dr Helmut Marko as he prepares to drive during practice for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix at Suzuka Circuit on October 2, 2009 in Suzuka, Japan. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

It is important to note that these two enjoy a good relationship now, and the Aussie’s statements were more tongue-in-cheek. Further, Marko values him even more now as they have never truly replaced him since he left Red Bull.