F1 Winter Break
Alguersuari and Buemi “not winners” says Red Bull’s Helmut Marko
Posted By: James Allen  |  08 Jan 2012   |  6:49 pm GMT  |  168 comments

Helmut Marko, whose influence on the moves made by the Red Bull company in F1 is significant, has explained why the company decided to drop Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi from the Toro Rosso team.

“Toro Rosso was created to give young drivers a chance,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday. “Alguersuari and Buemi had that chance for three years and after that period it’s possible to evaluate a drivers’ development.

“We didn’t see in them any possibility of growth. Both are Grand Prix drivers, but for us that’s not enough. We want Grand Prix winners.”

Although a tough decision, you can see what he’s getting at.

Both drivers showed some signs of doing well, Alguersuari in particular seemed to be getting stronger in the second half of the season and put in some very strong drives, using the clever strategies devised by Giorgio Ascanelli, but the company has unlimited tools for measuring performance and progress and they could see that both didn’t have what it takes to become winners in the highly competitive environment of F1.

Much has been made by fans of the incident in Korea between Alguersuari and Marko as a reason for his demise, but it is surely an overall impression that he’s not a winner.

Buemi was always inconsistent, while Alguersuari was thrown into the fray very young, at the age of 19 and arguably didn’t have the experience or the knowledge to capitalise. Jenson Button knows about that having had a similar experience with Williams and Benetton/Renault when he started at just 20 years of age.

Looking back on the December move to drop both in favour of Jean Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, although it seemed something of a shock at the time, Marko has a job to do and he took the view that his priority was the two promising young drivers ready to make the next move; Vergne and Ricciardo. Both of whom, incidentally, have more experience than Alguersuari had when he made the move to F1.

Whether they have the consistency, the intelligence and, above all, the speed to make it as Grand Prix winners, the next two years will tell us, as that is how long they need to be given to prove themselves.

Perhaps Red Bull and Marko have realised that throwing a driver in too young is a mistake, one for which Alguersuari is now paying the price.

But the point to remember about the Red Bull way of grooming drivers is that what they give them – by funding top drives on the ladder to F1 and then a couple of seasons with Toro Rosso, is an opportunity and it is up to the drivers to grab that opportunity and prove themselves.

None of them gets being paid very much, but arguably it is costing Red Bull around €4 million per driver to get them to F1 and then the Toro Rosso budget will be another €70-80m a year, the purpose being largely to develop them as drivers.

Without the Red Bull investment most of them wouldn’t get that chance. So it’s tough, but you can see the thinking there.

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You cannot make progress like Jaime, without being an intelligent driver. Maybe Jaime was a bit more feisty and emotional for Marko's taste. He's a strong willed guy judging from the Korea confrontation, he believes in his point of view and sticks with it.

Senna was like that too, uncompromising. And that was not a bad quality.

Yes, Marko has a job to do and that is to find the next Vettel with accuracy and fast.

My objection is not that Marko dropped Jaime, but the timing of it.... that is sickening to say the least. At least tell the guy 3 GPs before the end of the season that he needs to look elsewhere. At least have the courtesy for that.

That lack of courtesy, translates in my interpretation as an enormous lack of respect on Marko's side.


Regardless of how right or wrong he is, Marko should consider diplomacy and tact when revealing the reasons for decisions. The again, we all constantly demand and hunger for honesty and forthrightness from leading F1 figures - so I suppose these guys cannot win. Still, had Marko simply said something like "These drivers have not proven to be the best fit with RBR's future direction" I for one would have read between the lines and the drivers would not forever be tagged in such a negative way. I would imagine that JA’s article would have been largely the same, as the same point would have been made but in a more gently fashion.


P.S, James can yhou please ask your tech guys to find out what the problem is with posting on this site? I routinely have to change my email address so something non-sensical just to get my post on the board.


I create a comment in the usual fashion, hit 'submit', the screen refreshes to the top of the article and my post does not appear. However if I try to repost I get a duplicate comment error message, so my first comment must be somewhere in cyberspace. I then bhave to enter a gobblydegook email adress and try again. If I do not try again until the comment is displayed as waiting for moderation my original post never appears on the site. This means I cannot enter any competitions also, as the site will not accept my valid email addresses. Sometimes it's not about the email address and the site will not accept my post at all.

I've posted this problem a few times and others have always posted to agree they suffer the smae issue. You need not approve this to the page if you do not wish, it's really just FYI.

I access this site on a number of PC's, so it cannot be a local problem - the common link betweent hem being IE8.


I've experienced the same thing as well. I don't remember being abusive or aggressive. :/


I also have this problem. James b


I have had this problem in recent weeks, hence no comments appearing. Changing my email to try, maybe I can be unspammed please??


Yours must be a different problem - no spammed comments under your sign in - Mod


Ok I'ts up to us to be better behaved then. Though not sure what I have written that the mod would want ruled out. I may be passionate but other than that...


The problem comes after someone posts a comment which doesn't pass moderation. Once the moderator has sent one of your comments to Trash then it occasionally identifies the email address as one which it doesn't like.

If we unspam your recent comment, you should find that you can post under your original sign in name again.

I guess the best way round it is to avoid writing comments which may break the rules..


Regardless of how right or wrong he is, Marko should consider diplomacy and tact when revealing the reason for his decision. The again, we all constantly demand and hunger for honesty and forthrightness from leading F1 figures - so I suppose these guys cannot win. Still, had Marko simply said something like "These drivers have not proven to be the best fit with RBR's future direction" I for one would have read between the lines and the drivers would not forever be tagged in such a negative way. I would imagine that JA’s article would have been largely the same, as the same point would have been made but in a more gently fashion.


I tend to agree. We understand the reasoning behind dropping these guys, but someone needs to ask Marko why he went about the way he did.

I must say I'm rather finding that the more we learn about the Red Bull empire, the less tasteful I find this operation.


"I must say I’m rather finding that the more we learn about the Red Bull empire, the less tasteful I find this operation."

Or you can do it the McLaren way

2005 season - after missing out narrowly on title with both their drivers scoring emphatic wins whenever car lasted till chequered flag. Instead of building on the season's success and working on the reliability issues of the car that lost you title(s) for next season, you bad mouth the current drivers and blame drivers for what were reliability issues. Then you sign on the driver to whom you lost your titles.

Don't work much on the car in winter, do minimum testing and come next season, don't give your drivers much laps in Friday practice (7-8 compared to 18-20 average laps per session for the rivals), don't give car to drivers as late as Q1 session (Imola'06) or don't change engines even if the engine has mapping issue due to which car will consistently run 10 kph slower than competition. If all this is not enough release the drivers in traffic during the qualifying and sabotage their qualifying laps.

The drivers will get frustrated and leave the team one way or other, coz team is simply making sure to muck of your resume and job prospects with other teams by giving you fighting opportunity to get best out of your car.

Or you can do Heikki out of a driver by heavy fueling the driver in qualifying this denying him qualifying on front row. best the driver can do is qualify on 2nd-3rd row with that strategy and drive a car in dirty air, where its characteristics don't suit to get maximum lap times. 3/4th of the season you keep publishing in your race debriefs "Fuel corrected Heikki was faster than Lewis in qualifying, but qualifying midfield resulted in his race strategy being compromised" compound this by not giving upgrades on driver's car in timely fashion and occasionally loading tyres in wrong sequence.

Last 1/4th of season, start blaming the driver and asking him to up his game. Thus with his reputation in tatters the driver is all ready to dumped unceremoniously from team.

Like of STRs should learn from the masters on how to do things. Physically attacking drivers may look good on camera, but doesn't give the class of a McLaren.

PS - Ferrari will be McLarening Massa next season for sure

Not wanting to pile on any team, but all the teams are more or less the same when it comes to professional treatment of drivers, that was my point here


So you don't like Mclaren then.?


Can't agree more. The more you see of them, the more you dislike them. This is consistent with the way they have treated Mark Webber in 2010.


Right on it Trent!

I hate hypocrites and believe RBR are such and 2011 proved it to me. Can't seem to get myself to like them.

I hope Buemi and Alguesuari will take Marko's comments as a challenge and prove him wrong.

I wish them both good luck.

Tornillo Amarillo

Agree, with Hulk and Di Resta was not the same opportunity.


You can see Marko's thinking, sure, but that point was strongly made in dropping both drivers without giving much notice and thus without giving them a shot to find other drives. So why continue talking about it? At least give them the chance now to market themselves elsewhere and remove yourself from damaging their image any further. Marko needs to get some perspective here. Can you imagine anyone else in F1 team management behaving like this?


Can you imagine anyone in any profession behaving like this? I'm no fan of either, but all this trash talking is impacting their employability and that is something courts in employee disputes for example don't look favorably at all.

I read an interesting article in a local paper about how NASCAR is going pay driver way like F1, and they mentioned how the top scoring driver in Toro Rosso didn't get the third driver role at RBR - because he can't write the checks like Buemi. Interesting point too.


Agree, It's like he's knocked both of them down with a sucker punch when they were given the impression they were going to continue but that isn't enough for Marko. He then runs and kicks them in the nuts when they are on the ground.

I dislike this Marko guy even more than Adam Parr and that's saying something.


strongly agree with that.


having said that... maybe Marko's comments are a warning shot to the new drivers.. you dont win a race in two years... you are gone.


I don't think he literally means they must win, I think it means more that they lack that critical element in their psyche that doesn't accept anything less than the absolute best they can take from every weekend. They realize they have a lousy car so they are excited with an occasional points haul, but let's be honest neither one stands out to me as someone who has that win at all costs and dont sleep till you do attitude that alonso Vettel, Hamilton, Schumacher, or even Button have. So no, they aren't winners and just because it's popular to hate on redbull right now doesn't change that. I also suspect this comment comes from all the heat Marko is getting for trying to be quiet and internal about his decision.


It wasn't a matter of being able to win in a Toro Rosso, but whether, in Markos' view, they would be able to win consistently if moved up to the Red Bull team.

In short, not what have they done, but what their perceived potential is.


How do they expect their drivers to win, when they don't (or are not allowed by the senior team) to have a car that can win? This is the flaw in Marko's logic. The drivers are put into literally a "no win" situation.


Applying extreme pressure whilst a driver is competing in a complex and often times emotional sport isn't necessarily going to get the best out of them.

Stuart Harrison

Then they need to be given a car that can conceivably win races! There were only five GP winners last year and seven people who got as far as the podium. Does that mean (applying Marko's logic) that ~80% of the field need to be looking for a new job? It's laughable!

And does it mean that if Vettel hadn't set his car up for wet running in Monza in 2008 and gone on to take advantage of the wet race, he'd not be with us today? Because, let's face it, that's the only race he won while driving for Toro Rosso and that was back when Newey was allowed to "advise" both teams!


In a Toro Rosso?! I guess they need the luck another rained out Monza smh


I can understand Marko dumping them - but trashing them seems unnecessary.



I can see his logic, which I respect in a calculated sort of way, but I abhore his method. I.e. Letting drivers go after the season's end, and rubbishing their reputation thereafter. It damages their ability to be on the grid next year.

I have never liked Marko, capable, but too ruthless.


Name me a single successful F1 driver who was not utterly ruthless.

Quite frankly, this current crop are fairies compared to some of the hard men who've trodden the stage.

A reincarnated Senna would shove them aside with ease / contempt.

As for Marko.

It's his team and he'll play it the way he likes.


I concur..

But, where are the ethics in F1 where huge money is involved.

There is absolutely no trust.

The real thing is below the carpet, way beyond our reach..

Thanks to James and a few others, we are offered insights.


Sure tough on someone to say they are not intelligent enough ......


That was the comment that made me flinch the most....must've hurt! I get his point though...


Do you think they'd do better to keep their drivers in a lower formula at least until they reach the age of about 22 or 23?

That would give the drivers a chance to develop a base of experience outside the spotlight of F1, and a greater level of maturity, so that those who do then get promoted to the Toro Rosso F1 team would have a greater chance to shine in F1.

It would also mean that Toro Rosso would have more experienced drivers and therefore a better chance of scoring points, with the financial advantages that brings.


Possibly, but Formula 1 seems to be giving drives to younger and younger drivers these days. Vettel was driving for Torro Rosso when he was 20.


i was against their decision at first but i understand why they did it. i hope jamie finds a new seat though, i think he's more capable than other drivers on the grid.

i'm looking forward to the daniel & jean eric battle, they're both very talented, not sure who'll win but i'll guess daniel because of his extra experience

Aussie Pessimist

Daniel will crumble under the pressure like all australians who the public expects to win (webber for example). Us Aussies only seem to perform when we're not expected to perform (webber for example).

Also, from memory, Vergne was more than capable of mixing it with Daniel when partnered together previously.


i thought australians were positive people, don't be negative just yet, there are good aussie f1 champions. however, if he gets promoted to red bull he wont beat vettel.


when Vettel was at Torro Rosso data and tech was shared with Red Bull so to compare the two is just wrong.


I totally agree


Nonsense. When STR and Red Bull shared tech, neither team was a frontrunner, they even finished 7th in the WCC in 2008. Vettel punched well above his weight, that's why he was promoted.

Buemi and Alguersuari did nothing to stand out, and I haven't seen a convincing argument that they did.


Well the biggest looser here is Toro Rosso, with this model is very good for the young drivers that want to grow and prove themselves but at what cost? Suppose they find a very good one that starts to win lots of points or even podiums, the next season he'll be off to Red Bull and then Toro Rosso is back to square one.

That has obviously happened before and they will never grow as a team if they keep it like this.


I commented on this a few weeks back. Toro Rosso is a waste of a grid slot. Red Bull could put their drivers in one of several lower-grid teams quite easily and probably at less overall cost. If they want to train them up in a competetive environment then GP2, GP3 and FR3.5 are the places to do it.

The Toro Rosso grid slot would be far better with a team like Prodrive who could run a sensible entry. I'm sure many of the lower end teams would be happy with a bit of Red Bull investment to help pay for car development and the Red Bull junior drivers would have a known driver to be compared to as well.


Doesn't matter to them. Thats not what their mission is.

They are a drivers ed team, not really a racing team.


Toro Rosso is there for only one purpose, to find the better drivers, they're not there to win races


I understand the Toro Rosso- Red Bull way of thinkung and acting. I have never see any proof that Buemi and Alguersuari will be the next big thing.

At the moment their program is the only one bringing young drivers to the F1 with out these drivers having a big "backing" meaning as sposors, so I don´t see the treatment as unjust; both Buemi and Alguersuari knew that being dropped was a posibility...


Evidently Christian Horner takes a different view on Buemi at least, if his signing as test and reserve driver for the main squad is anything to go by. Otherwise, why not sign another driver from the stable? Similarly, the comments about Alguersuari (particularly regarding intelligence) sound somewhat surprising considering the aforementioned strong drives and his DJ-ing, which is not exactly a straightforward undertaking. I must confess, my view on Dr. Marko's role as judge of driver potential was not particularly high to start with and this has not improved it one iota. He seems to also be contradicting the earlier press release which pointed simply to STR's role as a rookie finishing school, which seems odd and a little unnecessary if the former explanation is valid. I can only hope Vergne and Ricciardo find more favour with him, or that someone else is making the decision when their three seasons are up.


Perhaps Alguersuari is smart but does not have the technical ability, which is a plus in F1. The DJ aspect may mean he is more of an art-smart kind of guy, just the wrong side of the brain.


Spanish media is reporting that the position was ofered to Alguersuari first, and it was clear that Marko has voiced his opinion about both drivers. What I mean is, that Marko choice to drop both drivers doesn´t turn him in a monster, he made a decision like any other person on his posicion would have done.


James, out of interest, when you say that none of them get paid very much, is that 'very much' by a normal person's understanding of the phrase or just compared to a driver in one of the bigger teams?

PS Congratulations of the 5 Live job, I'm sure you'll do a great job!


To follow on from this comment, didn't you do a post in 2010 regarding driver salaries, and could you do one for 2011/2012. I remember at the time the two Red Bull drivers being on equal money, and very high bonuses, but would be interesting to see how that has now changed...


Good idea, takes time to do, though.

Vettel is now on very good money, as high as anyone else, I believe.


I would like my son who is 4 to have a chance of a F1 drive ,but I have not got the money to get him anywere near the F1 scene what can i do to get him there without much money. I need help because he loves watching F! with me and he is always asking me when can I drive a car like that.


Get him to a kart track, get him some track time. See if you enjoy it.

Then if you both want to take it further look into second hand karts - you can pick up a kart for about £1K - £1.5K depending on the quality of a kart and the spares that comes with it (best get them at the end of a season). A new kart will require you having a blank cheque book (a steering wheel alone can cost £2K with ship to shore radio etc.).

Talk to other parents and see how they cope with the weekends, etc.


It all starts with karting. Look for a local track and go from there.

Good luck to him!


Take him to your near by Red Bull Office... heard thats a first step 😉


Enquire Anthony Hamilton for advice lol


Take him carting


James, I would be very interested in why you believe that Alguersuari seems to lack the intellect necessary for a top F1 driver. I'm curious where and when this became evident in his career.

Is it a matter of his emotional maturity (he is a very young and sometimes fiery driver) or in his slow adaptation to the Pirelli tires? Perhaps it is a combination of both?


Compare a twenty something year old Alonso to an Alguersuari. Do you think that Alonso would be able to push his car past its design limits in terms of performance? Do you think he would find ways around design problems? Do you think he would adapt to tyre problems and other vagaries? This is what the highly intelligent champion driver does, and is probably what Marko is referring to. Although I disagree with Jaimie and Sebastien getting dumped after season-end, I can at least agree that Jaimie and Sebastien were not turning out to be the 'next big thing'. A shame, but true.


They said the same about Button that he wasn't really a winner... then 2009 happened.

It's 90% about the car in any given situation.


Interesting insight as ever James, I don't believe either are winners but I also think all Red Bull drivers are now going to be compared to Vettel's form in the Torro Rosso, when much more shared technology was allowed and an argument can be made that the Torro Rosso was actually a faster car than the works Red Bull.

An additional point about the intellect of top F1 drivers: I don't think Lewis Hamilton is that bright either and I compare him to like the Ronnie O Sullivan of F1 - probably the most naturally talented driver and most exciting to watch on the grid with pure speed but lacking that additional intellect of a Schumacher or a Vettel. With the new F1 requiring strategic thinking by the driver in the cockpit its another reason while Vettel has been so successful this year.


I agree completly. Lewis seems to be doing very well, but he can't be described as 'bright' as Vettel, Schumi and Kubica. It seems Marko is looking for a new Vettumi, but there are other kinds of champions. Senna was more passion and skill than intelligence. Alonso isn't all that bright either, neither is Kimi. Hakkinen was more calculated and calm than passionate or intelligent.

I think Marko got it completly wrong on Alguesuari. One of the most improved drivers these past few years, and given a Red Bull he probably would have done as good a job, if not better than Webber.


What do Wu know about intelligence?


"Senna was more passion and skill than intelligence. Alonso isn’t all that bright either, neither is Kimi..." ...????


Senna was extremely intelligent, ask anyone who was close to him. We can also see the same kind of intelligence in other drivers such as Vettel. It's in their eyes. It's not because they look aggressive or intimidating. It's because they look you like "I know what you're thinking"; or in other words, as if you could never try to outsmart them.


To some extent a top class team like McLaren can make up for a slightly lower IQ in the cockpit.

Ferrari seems to demonstrate how this can work with Massa and Rob Smedley : Rob is very bright, he has a first class degree in maths and mechanical engineering and a masters degree as well : he seems to do most of the strategic thinking for his driver.


And you know this about Hamilton because you've spent a lot of time with him?

Thought so...


Ouch! "lack of intellect"- that's got to hurt...

I can't stand Torro Rosso, they're just a waste of space.


Thats straight from the Marko Book of Winning PR Phrases.


F1 is a very tough and competative market to ply your skills in, its harsh to read this but I fully understand that they all want huge results for their investment, and if its not working they move on to find the next right (hopefully) combination.


We are in a results driven business. You live and die by your last drive, at this level of motor sport, you need to perform. It has been said many times before, you maybe a very quick driver, but if you don’t understand how or why your quick, then you’re no good to the engineers.

Yes today’s car may have a ton of data coming back to the engineers, but they also need the human feed back. I believe that is what he means by the level of drivers intelligence.


Hi James

First of all congrats on the BBC deal! That is great great news.

Would you mind elaborating a little bit on the altercation between Alguersuari and Marko in Korea?

~ Dave


I hope after this merry-go-round of drivers that when Mark Webber does decide to retire or change to a different team that they place the driver who is best available to the team at the time. It would be a shame to place a driver in Webbers seat that doesnt have the potential of Vettel.

I would love to see Hamilton in the seat, I can see that Red Bull is his type of team. But I hope that Vergne and Ricciardo step up to the plate and perform, maybe we will see one of them progress in 2013


Whoever replaces Webber will need to show they are better than him.

I don't think either Buemi or Alguersuari would beat Mark if given the same equipment.

Webber's form wasn't flattered by the Pirelli tyres this year, however I believe he remains a top driver that is hard to beat. Ricciardo and Vergne have a lot to prove.


He's a class act. Not content with firing them at the eleventh hour so that they couldn't get another drive, he then ruins the rest of their careers by publicly slating them.

Presumably Buemi has got a pity third driver role at Red Bull.


Marko is getting very up-popular of late.

Yeh his "tactics" might be good for Redbull and may

produce another WDC, but what's the point in that if

your cutting off the rest of the world as supporters and

only fellow country men support the driver and not the

actuall team moving on when the driver does?

Vettel was always going to go a long way in F1 he has

alot of talent and the intelligence. Marko finding him isn't

special and they didn't "produce" him!! Vetted did that himself.

Anyway if think Marko is starting to actually cost Redbull fans and actually making people want to see them fail.

Which is a shame as both Webber and Vettel are great for the sport as will be Ricciardo (personality plus, always smiling) only their chactor and personality save Redbull

and keeps fans watching them.


I dont understand why he has t badmouth them, drop them and be done with it. By talking bad about them he's not letting them have a chance at other teams, and might even be hurting their chances at racing on other categories(DTM, Prototypes, Le Mans, Grand Am).


Maybe he needs to sabotage their careers otherwise if one of them develops into a truly first rate, super brilliant driver, then it would reflect badly on him and his driver programme.


I don't understand why Red Bull let Helmut Marko do interviews in the first place. He comes across as being a bit of a media whore, seeking attention from whatever publication that will give him the time of day. He is a behind the scenes man and he should remain a behind the scenes man.


It is always a shame to see a driver lose his job but I can't help but be excited about seeing Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso.


Its a ruthless place F1, you have to show a drive above the merits of the car, no matter where it is on the grid. Maybe their other downfall was that Vettel set a high benchmark to follow, and it may be a while before someone else shines through in the same way.


Interesting article. The thing that stands out to me is the idea that there is a lower age limit to entry to f1 after many years of the age of drivers seeming to lower. Fast tracking can work but only in exceptional cases with the right individual. For the majority they have to put in a lot of hard work and time to gain the experience and race craft required. Increasingly, in Formula One the technical demands upon the driver is immense with a real need to not only understand the ways of setting a car up but also materials and engine physics.

The days a driver would turn up on the race weekend and simply drive disappeared many years ago. The drivers have to be able to understand the intricacies of design in order to maximise the car's pace, understand the feedback whilst driving and from engineers and provide insight into set up.

I know that formula 1 is a tough business and the only the cream of the crop survive, but still seems a disappointing way of dealing with the drivers involved. Leaving it till so late makes finding another drive supremely difficult whilst by all accounts they were talking about next year's drive just a week or so before dropping them both. One thing's for certain, it'll keep their other drivers on their toes.


I think the decision is tough but fair enough. Marko could have told the drivers a little earlier though to give them time to find something else.

Alguesauri has reportedly turned down HRT as he sees it as a backwards step. I read he may be in the frame for a Mclaren test driver role.

Meanwhile Buemi thinks as a reserve Red Bull driver he may have a shot at Webber's seat when it becomes vacant.

Given Marko's assessment you'd have to say he is dreaming really.


Red Bull would be wise to gag Marko. He is hardly representative of their brand or ethos.


I don´t see that happening Matestizch (sp?) value loyalty over any other thing and Marko has being his friend for a long time...


For that cost of investment I would be expecting big things too I see the mans point Buemi and Alguersuari were solid but not spectacular and Marko can afford to be picky.

Like the Russian police, stern, stern but fair


"...that Alguersuari perhaps lacked the intellect of a top driver..."

What do you base that?


Unfortunately I have to agree with Marko's comments. Although the wording and reality of the decision is tough, F1 is a tough environment. I believe Ricciardo and Vergne will prove the better drivers in the end. The battle between these two will be really interesting in the coming years. I personally believe Ricciardo is the better driver but just needs a bit more aggression.


Talk about shattering young guys dreams. It's bad enough they were let go never mind Mr Marko's comments. ps James just watched the Korea incident video and i think Marko was out of line chastising Alguesuari publicly, I wonder if Marko would have been as furious if he had held up Webber?


Well apparently he didn't remember that as part of the RB Kindergarten his job is to hold up the *other teams' drivers!


Great article as ever james


Hi James,

I’m glad you wrote about these comments from Marko. It’s interesting that they come only a couple of days after Beumi was bold enough to say he wants Webber’s seat at RBR – perhaps he’s putting that idea to rest!

As I've said before, I’m a huge Daniel Ricciardo fan and have followed him for the past few years, just wondering what your thoughts are on him with regards to his potential to meet the various requirements you mentioned? I know it’s a bit too soon to tell, but another journalist seems to feel he didn’t compare well to Luizzi while at HRT, based on 'inside' info, but for the rest of us relying on stats, he seems to have done very well?



In some respects I can understand the thinking - it sounds like the basic point of the RB Academy is to find exceptional talent, rather than developing talented drivers necessarily.

I find it curious that a perceived lack of intelligence or intellect were the significant reasons why Alguersuari or Buemi weren't retained. I would of thought the rate of their development (in terms of speed) was the more important factor?


Headline grabbing title there James.

Anyways my question is:

Were they not SELECTED & trained by Dr Marko? all this intelligence stuff is a smoke screen on how well they were trained and prepared before making the jump to F1 and then how much support they were given while there (considering that a lot has changed since Vettle made the same journey).

The lack of refuelling has taken away opportunities for mid teams to stage upsets and that needs to be taken into account (if either Webber or Coulthard were better drivers with better records and seen as long term prospects vettle would still be stuck at TR now one reckons- or perhaps at Ferrari with Alonso).

Questioning their intelligence allows Marko to ignore the effectiveness of his Academy- as it now becomes solely the driver’s faults. Surely there would have been different experiences the students should have been exposed to to develop areas of weakness?

Vettle is the Golden Calf so the current narrative will show him in a good light. However, his driving in 2011 was much more measured & clinical than any of his previous years (dominant car and Webber woes notwithstanding- getting a win in a torro rosso in 2008- one of the main reasons he got his chance, was not about intelligence or lack of it.). So one can see the argument for allowing for continuous development/improvement on the job.


"Were they not SELECTED & trained by Dr Marko"

LOL good point.

So the person with the biggest lack of intelligence may well be Marko.


How are they supposed to show 'winning' potential in a midfield car?


The best drivers can do amazing things that are noticed by everyone else in the field. Schumacher qualified seventh in his first race. Senna was second in Monaco driving a Toleman. Alonso outqualified fasters cars in a Minardi. In the old times, Piquet knew the car like the back of its hand. Clark was known to not need new gearboxes, as softly as he drove. Kubica won a F3 race in Brazil the first time he ever raced at Interlagos, putting all local drivers to shame with a flawless performance. That's the stuff of the best.


I don't think anyone at Red Bull is expecting them to win races, but they are clearly looking for drivers who they think are displaying extraordinary talent. Also drivers who they think are likely to keep on improving. Nobody is suggesting they are not very good drivers but they are looking for the next Prost, Senna or Schumacher.


you're definitely right. but they already found a special driver in Vettel. they only have one top flight team, however, so if by chance Riccardio and/or Vergne turned out to be a future great, what do they do ? Webber is clearly doing enough w/o making Vettel uneasy like he did in 2010.


They worry about that if/when they find one of them is what they are looking for. It seems likely both will get a full season at least to show their talent so it's not going to be an issue this year.

As for future seasons, Webber won't be around for too much longer. If either driver shows promise I would imagine they will be offered a seat alongside Seb.And this is F1, where anything can happen. It's perfectly possible Seb might leave for another team in the future.


Plenty of drivers have shown potential in midfield cars in the past, you don't think Senna, Schumacher, Vettel, Mansell, Prost started off in winning cars do you? They all had to show their talents in midfield or worse cars.


Yeah but these drivers are, as we all fully well know, the best in F1 history.

Vettel, on the other hand, was a different story. Fact is, his car in 2008 was the best car in the wet.


Vettel finished 8th in the championship, which is where you's expect the driver of the 4th fastest car to finish. STR had probably the 6th or 7th fastest car across the season as a whole. So of course Vettel was in a midfield car, and he showed his talent by putting it in positions it had no right to be.


I think you need to ignore the monza win and look at his season as a whole then you would understand he finshed behind the mclaren ferrari and bmw drivers and thats after being crashed out at the 1st corner of the 1st 5 races.


here here. plus 2010 and 2011 weren't great seasons for with RBR's dominance and McLaren and Ferrari right behind them. its hard to impress in a mid-field team, let alone, steal a win. Vettel's win in the rain at Monza was a miracle. The only man that day if I remember correctly who had a chance to beat him was Kovalinen and well, we all know how he fared at McLaren.


They probably expected them to replicate what Vettel did in 08.


Alonso did in a Minardi all those years back...


By putting in great performances. Alonso didn't need to win (or even score) to show how good he was in a Minardi in his rookie season. Vettel shone in 2008 in the midfield, and Kubica impressed in his first season, back in 2006. Alguersuari and Buemi, while decent drivers, showed very little or the same calibre.


By getting the maximum out of it, obviously.


This is the worst thing Red Bull have ever said. Alguersuari was clearly a growing talent, with some of those 7th and 8th place finishes, and Buemi was also looking strong at the end of the season, before having mechanical failures.

I'm not saying Toro Rosso should keep the same drivers forever, but shouldn't just get rid of them like that. How can they say they are not grand prix winners? They are not in a gp winning car, so what can they do? I seriously doubt Ricciardo and Vergne will do much better in the same car.


Quote: My objection is not that Marko dropped Jaime, but the timing of it…. that is sickening to say the least. At least tell the guy 3 GPs before the end of the season that he needs to look elsewhere. At least have the courtesy for that.

My thoughts exactly. Marko is not earning any fans for Toro Roso or Redbull.


Im kind of mixed about this. On one hand, im fine with Buemi and Alguersuari getting sacked because 3 years is a long time in F1. If they got the boot after 6 races, sure they would have a case for being treated unfairly, but after three years, the team has given them a fair crack at it and decided that it wasn't going to work out.

Back in the day when Red Bull wasn’t fighting for World Championships, I think one of these two drivers would have worked well picking up points week in week out. But now, a Red Bull seat is as valuable as a McLaren and a Ferrari. So with that in mind, you have to ask is the Torro Rosso driver as good a Hamilton, a Button or an Alonso? I have not thought that about Buemi or Alguersuari.

On the flip side, Helmut Marko is a [mod]. Dumping the guys last minute so publicly was not necessary. Im sure that working out that they were 'not winners' was not a December revelation to him. He would have known it for a while. I think he believes in the driver abilities, and doesn’t want to see them at a rival team like Renault, Sauber or Force India, competing against Torro Rosso. Can’t have your cake and eat it too Marko.


70 - 80 M Euro per year to provide a grooming school for young hopefuls?

Does not make hard business logic. Better to pay a good expert scout well. Let us see how many champions did NOT come from grooming school: Schumacher, Alonso, Hakkinen, Raikkonen, Button, not to mention many previous greats.

Now groom school graduates: Hamilton, Vettel. Both would have succeeded on their own merits, as others before?


Marko is showing some intelligence here because he is answering the wrong question to avoid addressing the interesting one. The question is not why STR chose to drop Buemi and Alguersuari. As any other team they can choose whatever driver line-up they want and for whatever reason. And not many people would argue against Ricciardo and Vergne as a quite interesting pair. The real question, as some other comments have already mentioned, is why the decision was taken in December without hardly any slot available in the grid instead of November or even earlier. For sure any team inside information that allowed them to decide that Buemi & Alguersuari are not GP winners was available well before November. Talking badly about ex-drivers, even when one has been re-hired as a reserve driver, is not helping to raise sympathies towards RB-STR.

Another issue is that, thanks to this story, we know now that Marko, a key figure in RB, can go to the STR garage and tell off a STR driver for how he interacts in the track with an RB car. Am I the only one that feel that, from a sporting point of view, this is extremely disturbing?


Right on both counts. Red Bull should have let both drivers know a lot sooner that they were being replaced. My guess is that they tried to place both Vergne and Ricciardo with other teams, but the other teams wanted so much money to run them in 2012 that Red Bull decided late in the day that it was more cost-effective to dump the Toro Rosso drivers. Another factor to consider is that Red Bull is probably having to pay more and more $$$ to Vettel as his win total and reputation rise, there may be less money for the Young Driver program and there is more pressure on the drivers to show performance. Marko needs to find another winning driver via the program before people conclude that the discovery of Vettel by Red Bull was more the result of luck rather than judgement.

Jaime was quite right to tell Marko to butt out on moving over for Sebastian Vettel. Vettel is the WDC, he should be able to take care of himself, asking Alguersuari to move over for Vettel is a negation of just about every principle of motor racing competition. Of course, Marko may have been frustrated that Algersuari was even still driving for Toro Rosso, it seems from what I have read that Alguersuari just managed to keep his seat for the second half of 2011 by meeting a performance clause, otherwise Red Bull would have been able to drop him and put somebody else (probably Ricciardo) in the seat. Red Bull were probably annoyed that they even still had Jaime around at that stage of the season...


Im no expert on evaluating drivers like Dr Marko is, but i think redbull made have made a mistake in axing Alguersuari. I also want to disagree that he is not quiet as intelligent as a driver. In the past year it has been widely reported that he provides his engineers with some very good and strong technical feeedback, some of which has been broadcast via the radio transmissions during practice sessions.

I still believe that he had a failing out with the big wigs and redbull and was axed. Hopefully another team can pick him up and continue to groom him and 1 day he may be a race winner


There are an extremely limited number of seats at what is supposed to be the top table of motor racing and there are several times that number of drivers out there wanting a place.

There have been far too many journeymen in F1 and critics of Dr Marko should bear in mind the alternative : if every team had the resources to follow the Torro Rosso system we wouldn't get the ridiculous situation where capable drivers like Hulkenburg lose their seat in favour of another with sponsorship money behind them.

Yes, it's unfortunate for the two displaced drivers at TR but they have had an opportunity denied to many others - and not just for one season either.

You can say the same of Petrov and almost certainly Sutil : Neither looked like they could be winners.


Hi James,

You mention that Red Bull have "unlimited tools for measuring performance and progress and... they could see that both didn’t have what it takes to become winners".

I was just wondering, what might these tools be? Although from my armchair expert perspective I largely agree with their conclusion on Buemi and Alguersuari, surely it's a possibility that both were in fact incredibly quick, but appeared average due to being quite evenly matched?

Also, many congratulations on the 5Live gig, I'm looking forward to listening in to you during the races whilst I'm at work!


Telemetry, data gathering on everything from steering, throttle usage, braking, evolution of technique, reaction times, everything


One overiding question im starting to ask about Red Bull is 'how many winners do they want/need? They already have SV, and whilst other teams will always sniff around, i cant see Red Bull letting him go without a fight (after all at the end of the day its all about keeping the blue cars at the front of the grid), so what happens now? Webber seems to be secure until he decides to go, then his replacement would be placed on a long term contract. At that point the music stops, there is nowwhere to go for the Torro Rosso drivers, but more Red Bull Juniors will continue to progress from the junior formula. At that point drivers need to be removed (as we have just seen) and all Red Bull have done is invested in a driver that will go to a competing team? JA would have done this if he was released earlier in the season. The system made sense prior to SB's arrival, but isnt the system starting to 'block up'?


Is there any record of what some of the previous Red Bull drivers that have been fired look back at their time there? Are Liuzzi/Bourdais/Klien positive that they were given a chance and it is still amiable between them, or do they see Red Bull negatively?

I left out Scott Speed deliberately as I imagine the answer is both obvious and predictable before he was fired...


This is a really harsh post. Questioning "Skill" is one thing, questioning "Intelligence" is totally different.

Have no doubt - you don't get to drive an F1 car, in fact you wont be ABLE to drive an F1 car, if you are not very, very, very intelligent.


Hi congrats on the new BBC role hope to see you popping up on the TV from time to time. Was wondering if you can explain what happened in Korea as must have missed it at the time? Also what are your feelings about Buemi getting the red bull testing role and not Jamie?


Come on let's be realistic here, Mr. Dietrich Mateschitz, Marko etc... this "B team" or junior feeder team to the main RBR team was never going to work. F1 was never suppose to work like this. Each team is an individual team and compete against each other, and no policy / structure were in place to allow one team's drivers 'graduate' into another team. That's the job of feeder series like GP2 etc. As long as the seats of other teams remain occupied, whether the belong to the same company/family or not, there is no way for the B team's drivers to simply 'graduate'. It's all a fail from the start anyway.

Coming back to Marko and ex-TR drivers, shame on Marko for being harsh and bad mouth his ex-drivers. I have never been a fan of these drivers but I do feel sorry for them as this was a result of someone else's idiotic planning (B team A team stuff), not their own fault.

They could not replicate Vettel's performances wasn't their fault either. Back then what Vettel drove was effectively a RBR car with a Ferrari engine on the back, not hard to drive a car that was designed by Adrian and as good as the 'A team'.


I would like to further add that back in '08 if it wasn't for the weather, Vettel wouldn't have won, he wouldn't have been a winning quality in that car either and would've looked pretty ordinary.

If anyone gets the boot, it ought to be Marko for not doing his job with a realistic perception of things.


"What Buemi and Alguersuari drove wasn’t anything close to the front running teams by far. You don’t expect them to replicate what Vettel did when the STR car is one dog of a car when Vettel had a good Newey-designed car."

Buemi and Alguersuari weren't exactly expected to repeat Vettel's results. Just do something to show that they had star potential. As others have pointed out, if Alonso can do wonders in a Minardi, then there are chances to look above average in a car that finished 7th in the WCC.

Furthermore, Red Bull weren't even frontrunners in 2007 and 2008. They were towards the back of the midfield. If you assume STR were slightly better, then Vettel finishing 8th overall, ahead of not only the Red Bulls, but comfortably beating both Toyotas, both Williams cars and a Renault was a very impressive result.


"I would like to further add that back in ’08 if it wasn’t for the weather, Vettel wouldn’t have won, he wouldn’t have been a winning quality in that car either and would’ve looked pretty ordinary."

In case you hadn't noticed, Sebastian Vettel scored 25 more points in 2008, across 8 other races. His 4th places at China 07 and Brazil 08, 5ths at Monaco, Belgium and Singapore, as well as 10 Q3 appearances would have been considered great enough even without the win and pole position.

Buemi and Alguersuari didn't need to win for STR, just look more than ordinary. In almsot twice as many races as Vettel had, what can you actually say that they did that was spectacular?


"In case you hadn’t noticed, Sebastian Vettel scored 25 more points in 2008, across 8 other races. His 4th places at China 07 and Brazil 08, 5ths at Monaco, Belgium and Singapore, as well as 10 Q3 appearances would have been considered great enough even without the win and pole position."

Well in case you hadn't noticed as well, that car was basically a RBR car except with a Ferrari engine on the back which wasn't a bad engine.

What Buemi and Alguersuari drove wasn't anything close to the front running teams by far. You don't expect them to replicate what Vettel did when the STR car is one dog of a car when Vettel had a good Newey-designed car.


I am curious about how the team members of Toro Rosso feel about being a feeder program to the Red Bull team.

Lets say in baseball, you are a minor league team with the aim of grooming and producing players for the main team. But , you play in a different league.

You dont compete in the same league and act as a junior team to somebody else. How can Toro Rosso ever think of having their own plans and strategies and competing to win a championship in F1?

The faces of the Toro Rosso team guys standing around as Dr Marko was talking to Alguersuari in the video after the Korean practice told the story


I believe that Marko did not personally query the drivers intelligence, that aspect was mentioned as a factor by James himself. I'd agree, drivers nowadays need to be very clever indeed, not just fast and street-wise.


One has to agree - Buemi and Alguersuari are good - but nothing special - they have been given an extended run and neither shows signs of being the "next Vettel". The only risk is starting with 2 rookies - had Mr Marko planned better he might have droped Buemi a year ago ....


It's quite insulting to cite any 'lack of intelligence' in Jaime Alguersuari. When I've seen him interviewed I have noticed how bright and insightful the guy is, and he is far more articulate than most F1 journalists. Of course Marko has to come out with some sort of spurious reasoning for ditching both Toro Rosso drivers, but I didn't know he had a crystal ball. Both drivers put in some great performances (Jaime's standing out more) in 2011 and deserve to be on the grid. And I'm sure Alguersuari is a future winner.


Just reporting what I'd been told over the course of last season


Certainly, modern F1 turned not to be only velocity but complex of tough strategical decisions where the driver is in place of main CPU; perhaps future F1 teams’ management at first will perform IQ test for the drivers 🙂 and then driving tests.


I don't think either were ever going to be the best driver in the World but it's clear that Jaime at least had untapped potential. Fair enough if Helmut wanted someone else, or he sees STR as not being a place for drivers with more than a couple of years experience, but to dump them at the last minute and then rub salt in the wound (and potentially diminish their chances elsewhere) by basically saying 'they were rubbish' is typical of the man. Highly unprofessional, and concerned more with proving himself right than actually doing his job.


I think Red Bull should be applauded for having such a comprehensive young drivers programme. I guess it must be the best and most expensive in F1.

If you get on it you would be thrilled but to stay on it, well you have to be another Vettel. If Seb had not performed as well he too would have been discarded. Discarding Algeusari and Buemi lets two other drivers to move up, join the programme and develop, thats life and F1 in particular.


As usual people make conclusions about this situation based on a article by James without taking account of whats actually written

Nowhere does Marko say that JA intellect is in question, James makes a comment from a internal audit.

In fact he actually says they are good F1 drivers lets face it there are a lot of these good drivers but not winners.

The other thing is this, they both knew they had no contract in place for 2012 and they would need new ones. I would think that any person would have been looking at there options earlier than waiting for the hammer to drop right at the end.I am pretty certain that this is the case they knew in the back of their minds what was going to happen just didn't want to admit it

Both of these drivers were given a great chance and failed to deliver under there contract criteria.

If I was spending the money redbull do on driver development I would certainly want the best not the second best.

Lets face it drivers come and go in a couple of years you wont even remember these two drivers. There are hundreds more out there that could do the same job just didn't get the same lucky chance these two did


No, they weren't anything special in the grand scheme of F1 drivers, and you're right with many of your points. However they do deserve the respect accorded to any other employee - by all accounts neither Buemi nor Alguesari were given an indication their contracts would not be renewed (presumably they asked). At the same time, if you fulfiled a contracted job and did what most impartial observers would agree was a reasonable job, you might not assume your contract would be automatically renewed, but you would assume the contractor would have the professionalism to not bad mouth you after the fact, wouldn't you?

Sure, sure, they had more of a chance at being an F1 driver than the vast majority of hopefully will ever get near, but that doesn't excuse unprofessionalism on the part of Herr Marko.


It may well be that he is correct but it is the way that it was done, I wish at least one of them could go on to win a race, but having trashed them it is now probably unlikely that they will get a chance in a car capable of winning. Is sacking them not enough, he then goes on to ruin things for them.


How can they say like "Both are Grand Prix drivers, but for us that’s not enough. We want Grand Prix winners.”

Only Vettel won in Toro Rosso and that too in wet. If it was dry, I am sure he would have not won the Monza gp in 2008.

Is this toro rosso is a grand prix winning car? They gotta answer this question before commenting stupid things about F1 drivers.

I think Mr. Marko didn't understand in which level toro rosso is.


I thought rain was supposed to be the element that levels out the differences in cars? Anyway, look SV's other 7 points finishes and other 9 Q3 appearances in 2008. They show the potential to be a grand-prix winner or champion with a better car, and that's what has happened since 2009.


If you are an vettel fan, I just don't care about that.

He is not the best. He is good. End of word.

There are better drivers than him, who was not there in the right time in right team.

Even Schumacher's era came to an end.

How about Vettel?

It will happen. Someone will come, just like Alonso.


My point was that Vettel showed winning potential in the STR (apart from Monza), by taking regular top 6 finishes. Buemi and Alguersuari in the eyes of STR (who have more data and knowledge than you or I) didn't do much that was special (in a car not as bad as say, the 2001 Minardi), considering they had twice the number of races.

"There are better drivers than him, who was not there in the right time in right team."

Like who? There's no way of determining how these drivers (you've not even cared to give an example) are better than a 21 time grand prix winner. Do you mean Paul Di Resta who lost to Adrian Sutil?

"Even Schumacher’s era came to an end.

How about Vettel?

It will happen. Someone will come, just like Alonso."

Even if or when someone comes along, SV's current success means that he is arguably the best on the grid, and that is how he'll be remembered. Currently he is the one to beat, as the double world champion. You'll have to live with that.


Must be considered also neither Buemi or Algersuari are german, while it has been clear Marko is quite sensitive to this character. In matters of facts, he clearly supported Vettel against Webber, and the second suddenly became much slower than the german, this since after famous battle in Turkish GP. I'm afraid Marko likes winners, expecially if they are german.


absolutely the correct decision

absolutely NOT the way to do it

surely this could have been announced to the drivers a couple of months before the end of the season and then a public announcement at seasons end ....in line with our policy of introducing nnew young drivers at the team we will shortly be announcing our choices ...etc


I'm sure Marko gave the 2 young guns plenty of warnings before firing Jaimi. It is Jaimi's dumbness that let himself down.

On the plus side, Jean Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo now has a proper opportunity to show what they can really do!

Honestly, I would have forgotten about these 2 kids before the start on the 1st GP.


I can see the thinking behind the decision, but I personally question the merits of a strategy that invests so much money in the slim

hope of finding another driver like Vettel, Hamilton, or Alonso. The chances of finding another driver of that quality are exceedingly slim and if that's the stated aim of the Scuderia Torro Rosso team, then it should be scrapped in favour of something a little more worthwhile.

For me, the bigger picture behind all of this is a lack of testing opportunities for young drivers. If we had season long testing, the likes of Jaime Algesuari and Sebastian Buemi could be assessed, readied and honed for racing, instead of being thrown into a midfield team and subjected to the harshest possible scrutiny and comparison.

Worst of all, at least one of them now has to cope with the publicly mooted suggestion that he's lacking in intelligence. That will be a very difficult label to shake and, as a 21-year old, one he'll probably have to contend with for a long while yet.

It seems that the lack of testing has a different, human cost; one which agreements like the RRA fail to recognise.

I'm not saying the RRA is a bad idea - it isn't, its a good idea, but a ban on in-season testing remains a highly questionable rule, one which has seriously undermined the sports ability to renew itself.

I mean, how many world champions do we have on the grid now?



Do you know what agreements redbull has with its young drivers? - surely Seb is stuck there forever - it would be part of them "finding" him wouldnt it?


His deal is to the end of 2014, as far as I know. Ferrari will make a play for him then, it appears


Could someone explain the "Korean Incident"?


Alguersuari blocked Vettel which resulted in a telling off...



It just comes to confirm, again, that Red Bull is a drinks company, not a racing outfit or a car manufacturer. They don't have the legacy, the know-how to deal with young driver talent and future management. It's simply, you don't win, you leave. One must ask if the Toro Rosso car was up to the task the first part of the season. Obviously not. For the second half they improved it and the results came along. Let's not forget SV benefited in those TR days from a car that was basically a Red Bull with Ferrari engine. Then the rules changed and suddenly the Toro was nowhere.

And all these, of course, comes from an openly anti-red bull fan. I've made my statement.


Interesting that this statement is made by a man who's highest finish was 8th in a car that twice won a GP, whereas the two TR drivers he's putting down never had a really competitive car under them


After reading the article my immediate reaction was that Marko's comments were unnecessary. I was surprised to see how many other people felt the same way.

Hopefully someone at Red Bull is paying attention. If this race team is a marketing effort, constantly generating negative publicity in this way doesn't fit with that goal.


I guess Marko will be firing the entire Toro Rosso sqaud for failing to give Buemi and Jaimi a car to show they are 'GP Winners.' How people like this get into positions of influence is amazing. What marko should have said was... hey boys, throw a few more bob at the seat and we'll sign u up for another couple of years... 'cause honetly, no driver in those cars are going to consistently crack the top 6.


Glad to see that someone in todays age of being all diplomatic, trying to please all and never offending anyone ever, someone has the balls to come out and say what they honestly think.

I think he is right. I think that they are both (especially Alguersuari) decent drivers, however neither of them is the next Vettel, if they were we would have known it by now, they have had long enough.

It has always been made clear that STR are a feeder and driver development team for the mother ship Red Bull. As I said I think they are both decent drivers and I hope they are in with a shout elsewhere but the time had come to let someone else have a crack at it, someone who might be the next Vettel. That surely can't be a bad thing?


Really disappointed to read this. The 2 guys are still very young and as others have pointed out button was written off in the same way. What disappoints me is there was no need for it. Sure, fire them and tell them in private but don't tell the whole world.


This feels like a good place to post an observation I've been considering for some time.

It feels to me that Red Bull have really failed at extracting as much positive PR from their success as they should have done. As the current top team in the sport you would imagine they would have many, many fans. Instead though, Red Bull seem to come across as the bad guys.

This image translates to the drivers too. Some people wonder if Webber receives equal treatment from the team and this perhaps enhances his image as someone who has to fight his corner. Everyone loves an underdog. Far more interesting though is if you look at Vettel and how Red Bulls image projects onto him. We see that many fans have been slow to acknowledge his talent for what it really is. Most commentators would agree that Vettel is supreme in his talents and quite probably the best driver on the grid at the moment. However, Red Bull somehow seem to tarnish this image and rather than basking in the admiration of all fans, lots of people dislike Vettel. I believe if Vettel had been driving for Ferrari over the past couple of seasons, he would have a much larger army of loyal followers.

Vettel is so good that people are starting to come around to him anyway. At least that's my feeling. But, it's a shame that the judgement of Vettel's talent is so adversely effect by Red Bull's somewhat negative PR in the eyes of many fans.

I'd be interested to know what other people make of this theory….



The way that Marko runs this 'academy' means that Red Bull 'discovers' drivers rather than 'develops' them.

This explains why only Vettel has shown up after a number of years and many drivers signed. Vettel would have made it anyway irrespective of which team he came from.

The inability of Red Bull to develop and mature anyone else supports this point of view.

Last year Ricciardo's name was being dribbled out as the 'next big thing'. Maybe, but performance to date doesn't support that. He appears to be the next in a long line of names that 'weren't good enough'. But in reality the one thing he hasn't had is time. A factor that RB don't seem to acknowledge as necessary.

I'm sure the RB supporters (and Marko) will point to banks of data and sophisticarted monitoring systems, but that's just something to hide behind.

In my work you can have the greatest analytical tools available - but you're not judged on that. You're judged on the result.

So far worldwide RB has produced Vettel with no one else looking likely to follow him.

This is a worse 'hit rate' that Tyrell had in the 70's for crying out loud, or Lotus, or Williams, or McLaren.

This reeks of too much money and not enough application. I'm sure Marko talks a good game and he has a wall of stats to hide behind, but the reality of the situation is that despite all this investment he is not producing the goods.


To David A

Ok mate. Your words just clearly says that you are Vettel fan.

Keep supporting him. In fact everyone likes their drivers very much and supports them.

There's no wrong in that. All the best for 2012 season.


@Graham Coles

I think Marko s appointed by redbull to discover not develop talent.

These drivers don't pay to develop themselves. They r paid by redbull if redbull finds them talented.



Did Alugusauri's Korea event of blocking Vettel and that argument with Marko make him lose STR seat and test driver role at Redbull n STR?

Congrats on ur new job. I hope u will continue ur forum n interacting with us.


I don't think so. If Marko thought he was a winner he would still be there


But did Jaime lose his test driver seat at Redbull bcoz of the argument as buemi too isn't a winner. Or is it buemi is better in giving feedback?

Can horner dismiss a potential winner arguing about team harmony due to such an argument?


@james offtopic

Why have you put an image of marko with vettel on buemi/algesauri post?

Vettel usually consults a lawyer n a CA during any negotiation. Is that lawyer Marko?

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