Red Bull teen prodigy lifts lid on life under so-called ‘angry’ Marko

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A 13-year-old Red Bull driver development programme star has opened up on working with Helmut Marko. The Red Bull advisor helps to oversee the initiative and plays a key role in judging whether talented racers can make the jump into Formula One. 

Marko has earned a reputation for being demanding with the youngsters. Former Red Bull junior Jaime Alguersuari revealed previously that he still carries the “trauma” of working with the 79-year-old. 

Alguersuari admitted that he would: “wake up crying, having dreamt of having done a great lap only to see the face of Mr Marko, angry”.

However, talented Thai teenager Enzo Tarnvanichkul has spoken positively about Marko after collecting a prestigious award at the Prize Giving gala in Italy last week. Tarvanichkul became Thailand’s first-ever FIA Karting champion last year.

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Before the main event, he spoke at a press conference and was asked about working with Marko. He said: “Marko is a great person – he has also had a wonderful career and has driven in F1 and Le Mans.

“A great and inspiring character when you meet him. The television sometimes misleads you. However, when you meet him it is very special and so felt it too.”

Tarnvanichkul received his award from Red Bull star Max Verstappen and hopes to grow up to become a F1 world drivers’ champion just like the Dutchman. The youngster spoke articulately about joining Red Bull’s academy and the pressure that is placed on the F1 hopefuls. 

“It is of course a very prestigious academy. Many drivers who were part of it later also reached Formula One, which is of course the pinnacle of motorsport,” he said at the press conference. 

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“However, First of all, you are very happy that you can join such a great academy. However, you soon think about the results and put pressure on yourself. 

“You want to win, everyone, so that creates extra pressure. Plus, having a company like Red Bull on your car also makes it more fun, but it also creates more pressure because you represent the company.”

Red Bull’s Junior Team was formed by Marko in 2001 to ensure there was a flow of drivers ready to step into F1. It has produced many of the current stars, including Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly. 

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