Helmut Marko Helmut Marko, 1972 French GP  

Full Name: Helmut Marko
Nationality: Austrian
Born: 27 April 1943, Graz

First GP: 1971 Austrian Grand Prix
Last GP: 1972 French Grand Prix

Entries: 10 Grands Prix: 9 Non-starts: 1
Wins: 0 Best Finish: 8th Best Grid: 6th
Fastest Laps: 0 Points: 0 Retirements: 2

1971 Formula 1, Yardley BRM P153/P160, 4 races, 0 points, Not Classified
  Le Mans 24 Hours, Martini-Porsche 917K, 1st overall with Gijs van Lennep
1972 Formula 1, Austria-Marlboro BRM P153/P153B/P160, 5 races, 0 points Not Classified

Helmut Marko

While he might be better known today as Red Bull’s senior advisor, Helmut Marko was an extremely promising racing driver in his own right, whose career was tragically cut short by a freak accident in 1972.

A close friend during his teenage years with Jochen Rindt, Marko graduated with a law degree before concentrating on his own motorsport ambitions. Having quickly gained a reputation as an excellent sports car driver – he won the 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours – he was signed to Formula 1 with BRM for the second half of the 1971 season.

His performances earned him a full-time drive with the team the 1972, and he started well with fourth place finish at the non-championship Brazilian Grand Prix. Having qualified career-best sixth for the French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand, his helmet visor was shattered by a flint during the race which lodged itself in his left eye.

Somehow, he 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 on to establish a successful Formula 3000 team to help blood young drivers. He has headed up Red Bull’s young driver programme over a decade, and is the lead team’s chief advisor.

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