He’s a constant presence in the Red Bull garage, but what does advisor Dr Helmut Marko actually do for the team? Was he a former racing driver himself?
Such is the way in modern Formula 1, the only way you are going to get yourself a race seat as a young driver is through being part of a junior programme.
You’ll be placed in Formula 2 for year, maybe two and must impress if you are to graduate up to F1.
Most F1 teams have junior teams – with the first success being Lewis Hamilton on the McLaren one back in 2007.
However, the most successful F1 junior operation is that of Red Bull Racing – run by Dr Helmut Marko.
Never one to hide his opinion, what does Helmut Marko actually do for Red Bull?
What Helmut Marko does for Red Bull
As head of the Red Bull junior drivers’ programme, it is Marko’s job to find race seats for all the drivers backed by Red Bull from F1 down through the ranks.
It’s his responsibility to manage the drivers in the stable, and promote or relegate them according to their performances.
Although some feel Marko is harsh and treats drivers poorly, he does have a fine success rate in promoting drivers to the senior Red Bull team.
Marko has elevated the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen to the senior team – that’s five world titles and 72 race wins.
He is also ruthless, as he demoted Danill Kvyat from the senior team just four races into the 2016 season, dropping him in place of Verstappen for the Spanish GP – which the Dutch driver won on debut.
Was he a racing driver?
Marko himself was a racing driver before becoming involved with Red Bull when it joined F1 in 2005.
His time as an F1 driver was not overly successful, making nine starts between the 1971 German and 1972 French Grands Prix.
However, at that French GP, his career was ended when a stone was flicked up by the Lotus of Emerson Fittipaldi.
It pierced the visor of Marko, blinding him in his left eye.
Despite his lack of success in F1, Marko did have better results in sportscars.
He won the 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours in a Porsche 917 alongside Gijs van Lennep – and took third overall the year before in a Porsche 908 alongside Rudi Lins.