(Motorsport-Entire.com) – Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen or Daniel Ricciardo: In recent years, Red Bull has brought numerous drivers into Formula 1 and also led to great success. According to motorsport consultant Helmut Marko, the Red Bull junior squad is the first choice for young drivers, but the group cannot oblige all talented drivers.
One whom Marko particularly appreciates applies 2020 as a major competitor to the bulls. Because when asked who has the greatest driving skills in all series for the Austrian and who is not under contract with Red Bull, he has a clear answer: “Leclerc. Clearly Leclerc”, Marko told 'Motorsport-Entire.com' .
But Charles Leclerc will not drive for Red Bull in the foreseeable future. The Monegasse has just recently signed a new contract , which it until 2024 binds to Ferrari. After all, Red Bull was able in return to Max Verstappen to extend to 2023 move.
Marko: Mick Schumacher will make it
Another title that is not part of the Red Bull squad, but always with a Formula 1 Ascension is associated with Mick Schumacher. The son of record world champion Michael Schumacher experienced a difficult first Formula 2 season, but should still land in the premier class in the medium term, believes Marko.
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The only question is whether the German does it only because of his name or because of his sporting success – after all, he 2018 won the Formula 3 European Championship. “I hope because of both factors,” says Marko.
But Schumacher is also from another camp – namely Ferrari. At the same time there is always criticism of the Red Bull program because currently too little is being done. In Formula 1, the former Toro Rosso crew AlphaTauri must continue to rely on Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kwjat, who have already been demoted by Red Bull. There was no candidate for promotion in Formula 2 last year.
Juniors: No compromises, no karting
Nevertheless, Marko emphasizes the strength of his system. “I would say without being overbearing here: With the boys, if they have a choice, they will choose Red Bull first.”
And Red Bull takes advantage of this position of power. The company knows that it doesn't have to compromise when negotiating a place in the program with a driver. There are no special requests, even if many have brought a lawyer with them in recent years. “We have our machine, it works. We are not willing to compromise and these are fair contracts,” says Marko.
Photo gallery: Red Bull juniors in Formula 1
Christian Klien (2004 – 2010): With the support of Red Bull, the Austrian made his debut 2004 at Jaguar in Formula 1. After taking over the racing team from the energy drink manufacturer, Klien also drives 2005 and 2006 at most Grands Prix for the crew now called Red Bull Racing at the side of David Coulthard. At the end 2006, Klien decides after disputes about a change into the ChampCar series from the Red Bull squad. Later the Austrian is a test driver for Honda and BMW-Sauber and drives 2010 three races for HRT. Photo gallery
But there are also changes in the machine. As in football, the recruitments were last made with increasingly younger pilots. The big players secure their talents even in karting. At least that's what Red Bull has now moved away from. In the future, kart racing talent will no longer be contracted.
Markos' reason: Talent assessment is difficult in kart racing because things such as tires, engines and chassis keep changing impact the efficiency. He cites ex-junior Oliver Oakes as an example, who is now on the road as a team boss in Formula 2. “The battle world champion in karting and in the formula car nowhere.”