Ricciardo marks Marko and Brown’s differences as bosses

Henry Valantine
Daniel Ricciardo and Zak Brown. Monza September 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo and Zak Brown speak after the Italian GP. Monza September 2021.

Daniel Ricciardo said Zak Brown and Helmut Marko have “very different” personalities, but both have the same end goal in Formula 1.

Having worked for one of Formula 1’s most exuberant personalities in Brown, as well as one of the sport’s most demanding figures in Marko at Red Bull, Ricciardo finds himself in a unique position to be able to compare how the two go about their work.

The Australian came through Red Bull’s junior system and made his way up to the senior team in 2014, spending five seasons as a Red Bull driver before leaving for Renault.

Given how vocal Red Bull advisor Marko can be in criticising the performances of his drivers during interviews, his approach is seen as an outlier in how other senior figures in the sport operate – but the Australian said he admires how committed the 78-year-old still is to the sport and both Red Bull teams.

Christian Horner, Helmut Marko, Adrian Newey and Daniel Ricciardo. Monaco May 2018.

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“I mean, their personalities are very different,” said the McLaren driver on F1’s Beyond the Grid podcast. “You know, Helmut’s a man of few words, Zak probably talks as much as me!

“But the similarity is they’re both hungry and, yes, they might show it in different ways through their personality, but they’re both so hungry to do this.

“I mean, Helmut – everyone knows. For him to still be travelling to every race doing this, that speaks for itself, and I’ll always respect him and admire Helmut for that.”

As for his current management duo of Brown and team principal Andreas Seidl, Ricciardo said he is enjoying the dynamic he has with his employers.

The 32-year-old said Brown’s enthusiasm for the sport is infectious and has the knock-on effect of wanting to improve McLaren as an organisation, with the American dubbing the team’s 1-2 finish in Monza as his “proudest day in racing”.

Seidl, meanwhile, is able to make tough decisions when necessary in how the team operates day to day.


“Zak, he wants to do it. He loves racing,” said Ricciardo. “He’s the biggest fanboy, but in the most positive way. It gives him the desire to be better, to build a better team.

“And then Andreas [Seidl] has that, let’s call it, that ‘German efficiency’ – and he’s got that killer instinct that you need in a team, to have that authority, but also to have that trust in the people around you.”


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