Helmut Marko, an influential figure within world champions Red Bull, has reiterated the team’s commitment to Formula One and says they will rebuild after chief designer Adrian Newey leaves next season.
The team announced that Newey, who is widely considered to be the best designer in the sports modern history, will step back at the end of the season and move into an “advisory and mentoring” role from 2015. Rumours suggested that Newey was tempted by a move to Ferrari but the freedom to take up other challenges has persuaded him to stay.
Marko, who is the right-hand man and mouthpiece of owner Dietrich Mateschitz, says the team will do “whatever is necessary” to maintain their place at the top of the sport, despite admitting that it will be a challenge to replace Newey. Red Bull have also other members of their design team in recent times to other big hitters Mercedes and McLaren, but they are confident that they have enough quality to make a smooth transition into a new era.
Marko, who also has a close relationship with world champion Sebastian Vettel, said: “The team was built around Adrian but we have a group of really good people and are prepared for the challenge”.
Marko’s defiant statement comes ahead of the team’s first home race as the sport returns to Austria this weekend for the first time since 2003. The Red Bull Ring was a surprise inclusion on the 2014 F1 calendar but it is a decision that has proven to be popular with fans and drivers. After Daniel Ricciardo won Red Bull’s first race of the season in Canada, the team seem more positive after a disappointing start and will hope that home advantage can play a big part this weekend.