Axed driver divulges six-word message sent by Helmut Marko to end F1 career – “I made the mistake of going public”

Driving for Red Bull has been extremely rewarding in recent times, with the team proving far more efficient than its competitors on the track.

While Red Bull has managed to win each race in the current season and seeks an unprecedented 100% record across the championship, they are also known to be ruthless when it comes to the performances of their drivers.

Helmut Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz. Credit:
Helmut Marko and Dietrich Mateschitz. Credit:

Nyck de Vries found this out the hard way as he was dispensed with after just 10 races in his rookie season for Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri.

While it is true that the Dutchman failed to collect a single point in F1, many believe that he was not offered enough time to acclimatise in the sport.

A similar incident took place with Pierre Gasly a few years ago as he was demoted by Red Bull to its sister team after just 13 races.

Before that, it was Daniil Kvyat who also suffered a similar fate as he made space for Max Verstappen to don the Red Bull attire.

However, the first person to go through this was Christian Klien.

Although Red Bull did support his entire motorsport career till the time he entered F1, he too lost his sear to Mark Webber in 2007.

Klien has now opened up on a harsh six-worded message that he received from the Red Bull management which informed him that he would no longer be racing for the,.

“It was a very frustrating time, a very frustrating year as well, and it came to an end in Monza,” he said.

“Basically, Red Bull or Helmut Marko offered me a drive for 2007 in IndyCar and said, ‘We don’t extend your contract in Formula 1, but we’ll offer you a drive in IndyCar’.

“I said, ‘No, I would like to stay in Formula 1. I feel like I have unfinished business here’. I said no to that offer and probably the mistake I did back then I did that publicly on Austrian television.

“I said no to that offer, and that didn’t come down very well with Helmut.”

Klien still has a sharp memory regarding his exchange with Red Bull technical advisor Helmut Marko.

“After the race in Monza, he said, ‘Okay, Christian, we finish it now!’

“There was so much going on behind [closed] doors that I was really, really frustrated with the situation and the way it [was] brought up to me, it wasn’t very nice. So my reaction was probably wrong, but even the result, that reaction, I didn’t want to go to IndyCar.

“And, anyway, I felt I had unfinished business in Formula 1, I definitely wanted to stay in F1. Even if that meant if I had to break up with Red Bull, who made everything possible for me to get into F1.”

Klien was never really able to resurrect his F1 career and although he did spend the next few years as a test driver for Honda, BMW Sauber and then HRT, he only made a handful of appearances.

Klien is currently a pundit for Servus TV, a channel owned by the energy drinks giant, and explained why people tend to stick around after they join.

Christian Klien. Credit:
Christian Klien. Credit:

“It’s amazing and that’s all down to [deceased founder] Dietrich Mateschitz and how he shaped his company,” he said.

“The people who work there, they’re all very much the same that he liked them to be, or he was kind of the role model.

“You can travel around the world and talk to different people who work for Red Bull, they’re more or less all the same. They all have the same mentality, and very, very loyal. That’s amazing – I think, very rare nowadays in this world.”

Read more: Daniel Ricciardo’s eye-catching numbers from Red Bull tyre testing adds to Sergio Perez woes as ‘fairytale’ comes to life

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