Alpha Tauri almost became top Red Bull team – Marko

Tue, 27 June 2023, 09:00

Jun.27 (GMM) Dr Helmut Marko says the team that ultimately became Alpha Tauri was once in the running to be Red Bull’s premier outfit in Formula 1.

This weekend’s Austrian GP at the Red Bull Ring will be the first held since the death late last year of team founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

“We come with the 100th Red Bull victory,” fellow Austrian Marko, 80, told Osterreich newspaper. “He would have been very happy with that.

“Of course it’s a pity that he wasn’t able to see it. Without him, there wouldn’t be an Austrian GP either.”

However, although Marko and many other former drivers will take part in a demonstration of old F1 cars at the circuit in Spielberg, no special tribute for Mateschitz is planned.

“Not that I know of,” Marko insisted. “Everything should be for him, even if I don’t know if that would be fine with him.

“But there is definitely no Mateschitz curve or anything.”

However, what Red Bull has achieved in Formula 1 is impressive, even if Marko insists that Mateschitz never really had any dreams about the team’s current utter dominance.

“No, that wasn’t the approach when we took over the relatively ailing Jaguar team,” he said. “Didi said ‘Let’s try to win a grand prix, that would be good’.”

Red Bull Racing ultimately managed 100 grand prix wins and counting. But Marko says the fact that Mateschitz’s second team, then called Toro Rosso, won a race with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel in 2008 must not be forgotten.

“There was the engine situation when Toro Rosso won in Monza,” Marko told the Austrian broadcaster ORF. “We won with the more powerful Ferrari engine in our chassis.

“We then asked the question of whether we needed Red Bull Racing or whether Toro Rosso was the better team,” he revealed. “Sebastian Vettel was the driver at the time but we already had a contract with him for the following year.

“But there were certainly internal fights about which team had the supremacy.”

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