Redbull Racing Advisor Helmut Marko was recently spotted in a ‘Detox Clinic’ in Innsbruck, Austria. The Austrian was seemingly enjoying his well deserved Winter Break after his team broke Lewis Hamilton’s stronghold on the Formula-1 World Drivers Championship. As Max Verstappen and Marko seek to defend their championship the Red Bull boss was spotted relaxing and gearing up for a long year ahead.
In an interview with F1-Insider.com, Marko described his time as “It was like a sauna for the soul too.” “Cellphones were only allowed in the evenings, to detox the body and mind from all the stress that accumulates in a year, I highly recommend.” The Austrian himself a former professional racing driver understands the stresses one undergoes throughout a long season like 2021. This does reignite the conversation regarding the mental health of the staff.
The need for the conversation regarding Mental Health as per Helmut Marko
Following a gruelling season amidst a pandemic, the concerns regarding the conversations mental health of the drivers and staff have become Paramount. The 2021 FIA Formula One World Championship featured a record 22 Grand Prix across 4 continents and 21 countries. The season did give us a thrilling championship fight that went to the last lap of the last race.
A season like this take tons of effort from the Pit Crew, Mechanics and other backroom staff to prepare and deliver. The Logistical Challenges of executing races within tight windows across the globe is nothing less than a nightmare. As the talks regarding the expansion of the Formula 1 calendar to 25 races grows, the mental health and condition of all the racing staff are being highlighted.
No threat to Red Bull dominance
As the new regulations kick in for the 2022 season, Red Bull have a new challenge in their hands. The Austrian Energy drink sponsored team has ended its relations with Honda after the latter decided to pull out as an engine supplier after the 2021 season. Honda, in a bid to reduce emissions, has sold their engine development facilities to Red bull who will be developing the power units to the Red Bull Racing and Alpha Tauri Racing teams.
He told “Ben Hodgkinson is and will remain the leader of our engine project. We hope that he can start working as soon as possible.” Ben who previously worked with the Mercedes AMG team will be joining Red Bull for the season after having taken a year’s break for Contractual reasons. But the uncertainty of new power units and the Drivers championship defence is not something that worries Marko. The Austrian is confident of the advances in engine development and is backing Max to take the fight to Mercedes again.
He said, “All I can say is that we want to defend Max Verstappen’s title and are very well positioned to do so. We had two different development programs running in 2021. Both worked. There’s no reason to believe that Mercedes and we aren’t the favourites again this year. Unless someone has found the philosopher’s stone in the new regulations.”