A junior driver would have been Marko’s first choice for Mercedes seat


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. Red Bull Racing - Dr.Helmut Marko. Friday 1st July 2016, F1 Austrian GP Practice 1, Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria. Digital Ref : 1598CB1D1828

Red Bull Racing Motorsport Advisor, Helmut Marko, says he would have chanced his arm with Pascal Wehrlein as a replacement for outgoing world champion Nico Rosberg, and that the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team need to be braver.

The Milton Keynes based squad are renowned for their love of bringing young drivers through the ranks, and promoting them to full-time race seats, so it is no real surprise the Austrian would make such remarks about a competitor’s decision.

Speaking to motorsport-magazin recently, Marko explained how his ethos is always to promote youth.

“For us, we would have done differently, we would have trained a junior. No risk, no fun.”

In terms of his own driver line-up, the Austrian advised that he believes in allowing his drivers to race, despite the tension that may cause within the team as they both battle for the title, or whether it sees them lose out on championship points to each other.

“This danger is quite real, but it does not change our racing philosophy or enthusiasm in any way.

“With us, there are no team orders. We are more racers than that.”

With Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes have a highly-talented driver, and it will be interesting to see how the dynamic works between him and Lewis Hamilton across the course of the season, or whether any rulings from management will need to be applied.

Many may see the Finn as an obvious number two to the Brit this season, but to think that would be to underestimate the talent that Bottas brings to the table and Hamilton could in all likelihood, find he has his work cut out against his new team-mate in 2017.