Helmut Marko hits back at Red Bull junior team critics with ‘luxury’ F1 2025 ‘problem’ analysed

Jamie Woodhouse
Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko.

Red Bull's Helmut Marko.

Reeling off the list of driver options for Red Bull in their Junior Team, Helmut Marko called out critics who felt the talent pool was running dry.

Traditionally, the two Red Bull Formula 1 teams had clear purposes, one to develop talent, where the likes of Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo started out, and then the main team which drivers strived to ultimately reach.

Helmut Marko asks Red Bull junior critics ‘what do they have to say now?’

However, decisions over recent years to bring the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Alex Albon and Daniil Kvyat back into the Red Bull fold, came at a time where some were looking at the Red Bull Junior Team and seeing a lack of candidates ready to graduate compared to past years.

But it is safe to say that Red Bull has plenty of options under their roof now, the likes of reserve driver Liam Lawson, as well as Ayumu Iwasa in Super Formula and Formula 2 title contender Isack Hadjar all options for a F1 2025 Red Bull call-up.

16-year-old British racer Arvid Lindblad is also making waves after leaping up to Formula 3 from Formula 4, winning on his debut in the Bahrain sprint race and currently sitting 5th in the Championship standings. Fellow Red Bull juniors Oliver Goethe and Tim Tramnitz occupy the positions behind.

“A few years ago, they were all saying that our juniors would not perform well enough, but what do they have to say now?” Red Bull driver programme boss Marko told Motorsport.com.

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As for those closer on the junior ladder to an F1 breakthrough, Marko praised Hadjar, who alongside his F2 duties has made an FP1 appearance for both Red Bull squads.

“We have Hadjar who is doing very well in Formula 2 and also [Pepe] Marti, although he is still making too many mistakes,” said Marko.

“With Hadjar, you have to remember that he was spun around in the first race and he has also had two technical problems while in a winning position. He is still second in the championship, so he is definitely one of the fastest and most consistent guys in the championship this year.”

Then there is Iwasa, who after two Formula 2 campaigns, now sits P3 in the current Super Formula standings.

“In addition to [Yuki] Tsunoda, we have another Honda driver who is doing good races and that is Iwasa,” said Marko.

“He hasn’t won a race yet this year because he had two bad starts, but he’s still third in the championship.”

And with Lawson – who impressed during his F1 2023 appearances in the place of the injured Daniel Ricciardo – also pushing for an F1 2025 seat, Marko, with a smile, declared: “It’s a luxury problem!”

Should Red Bull decide to change their Tsunoda and Ricciardo line-up at RB for 2025, then Lawson would be considered a frontrunner, especially as Marko revealed that the New Zealander has a contract clause which would allow him to leave Red Bull if they don’t give him a seat for next season.

“With Liam Lawson as a reserve driver, we obviously have a strong driver in the team who is contractually entitled to drive for another team if he doesn’t get a cockpit with us in 2025,” Marko revealed to Austrian publication Kleine Zeitung.

Ricciardo has struggled so far up against Tsunoda in F1 2024, scoring just five points to Tsunoda’s 19.

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