Helmut Marko, one of Red Bull’s head honchos – and an accomplished F1 driver in his own right – is celebrating his 67th birthday today.
A close teenage friend of Jochen Rindt, Marko earned a law degree before concentrating in earnest on his own motorsport ambitions. He quickly developed a reputation as a great sports car driver, and was snaffled up by BRM for Formula 1 during 1971.
Showing great form in the 1972 French GP at Clermont Ferrand, his helmet visor was shattered by a flint (above left) which lodged itself in his left eye. Somehow, Marko was able to bring his P160 to a halt without a massive accident, but the sight in his injured eye was ruined, and a potentially great racing career was cut tragically short.
Realising he could still contribute in a management capacity, Marko ran Renault’s competition activities in Austria, going to establish a successful Formula 3000 team to help blood young drivers. He now heads up Red Bull’s young driver programme.
[Original image via The Cahier Archive]