Red Bull junior driver Juri Vips defended Helmut Marko’s ruthless approach, saying that he only backs the best young talent.

Marko has a notorious reputation on the grid and in the media for being a hard man to please. His stick-slash-axe approach spares no one except the best drivers who can maintain the consistency he signs them for.

The Austrian has given the boot to many talented drivers over the years, Daniil Kvyat, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon have all been shown the door at Red Bull thanks to his relentless pursuit of perfection.

However, Vips defended Marko’s ruthless approach, saying that he completely understands his functioning in the cut-throat world of F1.

“He is simpler than people think,” Vips told the Formula 1 website, as quoted by Planet F1.  

“He is going to put you under pressure, but if you are doing well, then he is very nice and very straightforward. Perform, and everything is good.

“That is the thing with the Red Bull Junior Team. If you don’t do well, then you might get kicked out. But if you do well, you get to F1.

Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen smile. Mexico, December 2021.
Marko (left) is friendly with his drivers when they are consistent. Source: planetf1.com

“They throw people out, yes. But why would you want to keep and pay drivers who are not going to be worthy of F1? They want only the best talent and I think that’s the right approach. They keep the best and they give them the chance.”

Mentorship

New Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou also spoke highly of a senior in Alpine driver Fernando Alonso, saying that he was a huge help in his development.

“Fernando helped me a lot,” the 22-year-old from Shanghai said.

“In the last three, four years, that is the most I have ever been helped by another driver.

“We did the track walk together and he was giving me details during that, telling me about the surface and the bumps, and we went through the on-boards in the engineer briefing and he was explaining everything to me.”

Read more: Marko denies Abiteboul information – “Really don’t know where this nonsense comes from”

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