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Helmut Marko


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#1 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 19:07

Well he has been in the F1 news alot recently, but i wanted to know what people's views are off his racing and team owner career.

I've never really thought of him as a brilliant racing driver due to him scoring no points during his F1 stint with BRM but then heard Martin Brundle say that he was a great sportscar driver and his accident stopped him from fullfilling his career.

Also I found out that he had a hand in managing drivers and even owned his own F3000 team, was the team succesfull :confused:

What are your views TNF'ers :)

Edited by tyrrellp346wheels, 14 November 2010 - 19:11.


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#2 Gabrci

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 19:15

I've only met him a couple of times and only spoke to him a few sentences, but my impression was that he is a hard, not very easy-going, strict but honest and fair man.

#3 funformula

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 20:16

Also I found out that he had a hand in managing drivers and even owned his own F3000 team, was the team succesfull :confused:

What are your views TNF'ers :)


His F3000 team was indeed successful, they won the title in 1996 with Joerg Mueller driving.
The year before they were ultra successful in the German F3 Championship and also the Macao F3 Race.

Joerg Mueller highly regarded Marko as the person who brought him back to buisness and in the winners lane at a point where his career seemed to be over.

Some other drivers of team Marko might be ... hmm... not so enthusiastic about the team principal.

#4 sherer

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 20:25

don't really know much details about him apart from his Le Mans win. What is the details of the accident

#5 alansart

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 20:28

don't really know much details about him apart from his Le Mans win. What is the details of the accident



A stone pierced his visor at the French GP. I think he may have lost an eye, or at least the sight in one eye.

He was a very good driver. Perhaps not WDC material but very quick on his day.

Edited by alansart, 14 November 2010 - 20:28.


#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 20:37

He was a friend/rival of Jochen Rindt in their teens and Jochen rated him very highly IIRC.

#7 scheivlak

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 21:14

A stone pierced his visor at the French GP. I think he may have lost an eye, or at least the sight in one eye.

He was a very good driver. Perhaps not WDC material but very quick on his day.


And it just looked like that GP could be his break through.
He qualified 6th behind Amon, Hulme, Stewart, Ickx and Schenken but ahead of Cevert, Fittipaldi and Peterson, and he was in 5th position in the race when he was hit.
More about this race: http://atlasf1.autos...view/schot.html


Furthermore, there are three excellent articles on Helmut Marko on this site, based on a long interview in 2005:
http://www.autosport...icle.php/id/277
http://www.autosport...icle.php/id/288
http://www.autosport...icle.php/id/298

Edited by scheivlak, 14 November 2010 - 21:22.


#8 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 22:28

He was a friend/rival of Jochen Rindt in their teens and Jochen rated him very highly IIRC.


I heard this also, one of the reasons Marko started racing was being friends with Rindt according to wikipedia.

Also i have a fly slot car model of Marko from the 1971 Paris 1000km, was this a street event in Paris or an event that took place at a race circuit near Paris :confused:

#9 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 22:32

I heard this also, one of the reasons Marko started racing was being friends with Rindt according to wikipedia.

Also i have a fly slot car model of Marko from the 1971 Paris 1000km, was this a street event in Paris or an event that took place at a race circuit near Paris :confused:

Run at Montlhéry on October 17th 1971:

http://wsrp.ic.cz/no...mp1971.html#101

#10 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 22:38

Thanks Vitesse :up:

#11 arttidesco

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Posted 15 November 2010 - 00:45

I read a Red Bull 'Rag' recently that suggested Marko and Rindt were a couple of hell raising buddies at school given to underage driving on public roads in Marko's Dads cars before being directed into racing.

Edited by arttidesco, 15 November 2010 - 00:45.


#12 markpde

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 16:15

I've only met him a couple of times and only spoke to him a few sentences, but my impression was that he is a hard, not very easy-going, strict but honest and fair man.

You have to wonder what effect his accident had on his personality - it must have been hard to take.

Consider this, though - if that stone hadn't pierced Helmut Marko's visor at Clermont Ferrand, would Niki Lauda have been taken on by BRM in 1973? Lauda 'chose life' after considering suicide and borrowed enough to buy his way into the team, but would the drive have even been available if Marko hadn't had his accident?


#13 Formula Once

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 17:15

Marko really was a star in sportscars (his drive i.e. lap record in the 1972 Targa Florio was simply stunning) and after his initial results in F1 were flawed by the chaotic way the 5-car BRM operated in 1972, he finally had a proper car for that year's French GP and looked like making the most of it in practice. Then of course the accident happened in the race, a stone thrown up by Ronnie Peterson's March piercing Helmut's visor and eye.

It always strikes me, the fate of so many Austrian F1-drivers; Rindt, Koinnig, Höttinger, Gartner and Ratzenberger were killed, Marko, Lauda, Berger and Wendlinger all had horrible accidents... And Harald Ertl died in a plane crash.

Edited by Formula Once, 19 November 2010 - 21:24.


#14 MCS

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 17:32

...Then of course the accident happened in the race, a stone thrown up by Ronnie Peterson's March piercing Helmut's visor and eye...


It was a stone thrown up by one of his own front wheels, wasn't it?


#15 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 17:50

I heard it was a stone thrown up will following Emerson Fittipaldi

#16 kayemod

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 18:00

And Hans Ertl died in a plane crash.


It's Harald Ertl, but you're right about his sad fate. A strange coincidence in this thread, Austria isn't all that small a country, but Harald went to the same school as both Jochen Rindt and Helmut Marko, and of course it was then FI driver Harald Ertl who almost certainly saved Niki Lauda's life by dragging him from his blazing car, being first on the scene after Lauda's Nürburgring crash, I think he got some kind of bravery award for that heroic act.


#17 Jesper O. Hansen

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 18:15

Another side of the hard nosed business mann Marko, was, apparently, the business mann Marko. During the 2000s, when A1-Ring had held the Austrian GP, Marko was a hotellier. From a friend of mine, on a tour bus trip from Denmark, Helmuth would mingle with his guests untill the wee hours being a genuinly likable chap. Before being told this side of Marko, I didn't even knew he was a hotel owner!

Jesper


#18 Formula Once

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 21:22

I heard it was a stone thrown up will following Emerson Fittipaldi


Peterson for sure

#19 Formula Once

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 21:23

It's Harald Ertl, but you're right about his sad fate. A strange coincidence in this thread, Austria isn't all that small a country, but Harald went to the same school as both Jochen Rindt and Helmut Marko, and of course it was then FI driver Harald Ertl who almost certainly saved Niki Lauda's life by dragging him from his blazing car, being first on the scene after Lauda's Nürburgring crash, I think he got some kind of bravery award for that heroic act.


Yes he did, like Edwards, Lunger, Merzario and one marshall (edited my previous post, its Harald indeed of course).

Edited by Formula Once, 19 November 2010 - 21:25.


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#20 MCS

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 21:55

Peterson for sure


I've never been aware of this until now. What evidence do you have, if you don't mind my asking?

Yes he did, like Edwards, Lunger, Merzario and one marshall (edited my previous post, its Harald indeed of course).


With all due respect, I think the point Rob was making was that it was Ertl who actually first pulled Lauda from his car.


#21 tyrrellp346wheels

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 21:57

wikipedia says it was a stone from fittipaldis car.

But as we know wikipedia is not the most reliable, anyone remeber fitzpatrick in the brands 1000000 km :rotfl:

#22 Formula Once

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 23:38

In an interview with Heinz Prüller published in Grand Prix Story 1972 of which I have a copy, Marko himself says it was a stone thrown up by Peterson's March. This is a very quick and so probably a bit clumsy translation of an article I wrote about Helmut

...elsewhere on the circuit the onboard extinguisher in Peterson's March has exploded. With ice cold feet the Swede races on and passes Marko's BRM on lap eight. Helmut remembers: "Peterson was very much on the limit and he drove through the dirt on the edges of the track quite unneccesary." Marko sees the stone coming, as big as a fist, ducks into the cockpit, but then he feels a terrible pain. When he looks up again, he sees he is heading for the guardrail and throws the BRM into a spin. He jumps out of the car, takes his helmet and balaclava off and gesticulates desperately to the marshalls standing nearby. As they dont respond he runs towards them, shouts for an ambulance and then he collapses. Luckily Vic Elford arrives in one of the Porsche 914's [these were placed along the circuit to help out in case of an accident] and rushes Helmut to the mobile hospital in the paddock. From there he is sent on to the Hotel Dieux hospital where - although he can barely stand on his feet anymore - he first has to fill in forms and declare who will pay for the costs of the operation. Only then the doctors tell him they cant help him, that he has to go to the St. Jacques, an eye clinic. He is alone in the ambulance driven by a maniac: Helmut has to hold on tight not to fall off the stretcher in the back. After the operation in St. Jacques the doctors ensure him all will be fine and that he will be able to race again. With his wife Irmi, who had rushed to France after hearing about the accident, Helmut flies home relieved, but in the hospital in Graz doctors discover that his left eye is not going to be okay at all and he his hosptialized again.

Edited by Formula Once, 19 November 2010 - 23:41.


#23 Formula Once

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 23:46

I've never been aware of this until now. What evidence do you have, if you don't mind my asking?



With all due respect, I think the point Rob was making was that it was Ertl who actually first pulled Lauda from his car.


Harald, like everyone involved, played an instrumental role in saving Lauda, but he did not pull Niki out; Merzario and Lunger did (Arturo diving into the ccokpit, undoing the belts, Brett standing on top of the already melting engine cover, shoes on fire, pulling Lauda's shoulder straps), while Harald emptying a fire extinguisher he snatched out of a marhall's hands to kill the flames as much as possible. Merzario and Lunger then dragged Lauda onto the grass before dragging him further away as leaking, burning fuel was streaming towards the grass.

#24 Cynic2

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 23:54

The incident in which Helmut Marko lost his eye, including hospital scenes, can be found in Michael Keyser's outstanding 1973 documentary film, "The Speed Merchants."

Marko is prominent in the film, and Vic Elford discusses the accident. Marko's helmet and visor, showing just how large the hole was, are pictured (at the one hour 28 minute point). After photos of the surgery, interspersed with footage from the race in which he would have driven a Ferrari 312 PB, Marko's wife discusses how he's reacting to the loss of his eye. The entire sequence is very powerful, and exceptionally well done.

Edited by Cynic2, 20 November 2010 - 00:21.


#25 Formula Once

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 00:04

The incident in which Helmut Marko lost his eye, including hospital scenes, can be found in Michael Keyser's outstanding 1973 documentary film, "The Speed Merchants."


The accident is not in the film, a hospital scene is indeed.

#26 Cynic2

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 00:22

The accident is not in the film, a hospital scene is indeed.



You are correct -- I just looked at the DVD for the first time in many years.

#27 mfd

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 11:19

The incident in which Helmut Marko lost his eye, including hospital scenes, can be found in Michael Keyser's outstanding 1973 documentary film, "The Speed Merchants."

It might have been produced in 1973, but it covers the 72 season


#28 COUGAR508

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 09:03

The incident in which Helmut Marko lost his eye, including hospital scenes, can be found in Michael Keyser's outstanding 1973 documentary film, "The Speed Merchants."

Marko is prominent in the film, and Vic Elford discusses the accident. Marko's helmet and visor, showing just how large the hole was, are pictured (at the one hour 28 minute point). After photos of the surgery, interspersed with footage from the race in which he would have driven a Ferrari 312 PB, Marko's wife discusses how he's reacting to the loss of his eye. The entire sequence is very powerful, and exceptionally well done.


Yes, the scenes relating to the incident and its aftermath are quite moving. Ironically, earlier in the film, Marko comments that he will probably retire from racing before too long, because of the possibility of having a serious accident.

#29 ensign14

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 19:39

It's Harald Ertl, but you're right about his sad fate. A strange coincidence in this thread, Austria isn't all that small a country, but Harald went to the same school as both Jochen Rindt and Helmut Marko, and of course it was then FI driver Harald Ertl who almost certainly saved Niki Lauda's life by dragging him from his blazing car, being first on the scene after Lauda's Nürburgring crash, I think he got some kind of bravery award for that heroic act.

Austria has borne a disproportionate number of tragedies. Apart from Ertl and Marko, you have Koinigg, Hoettinger and Gartner, and even the first world champion they had could not be feted...

#30 Formula Once

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 19:59

Austria has borne a disproportionate number of tragedies. Apart from Ertl and Marko, you have Koinigg, Hoettinger and Gartner, and even the first world champion they had could not be feted...


And Ratzenberger, check my earlier post...

#31 GMiranda

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Posted 28 November 2021 - 23:37

I read somewhere - I remember it was a reliable source, but among so many magazines, I can't be sure what was the name of the publication was and who the writer was; I'll try to find out - that Helmut Marko was poised to join Ferrari in 1973. I'm almost sure he had already signed with the Scuderia for the World Sportscar Championship, and there was a chance he'd be chosen to replace Clay Regazzoni alongside Ickx in F1. I'll look for more details, but he was seen as a promising single-seater driver and, back then, having 29  was no problem.
About the stone, I always read it was Fittipaldi's Lotus because Peterson would be far behind, but it might be a mistake perpetuated in books.



#32 Dave Ware

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 14:14

I read somewhere - I remember it was a reliable source, but among so many magazines, I can't be sure what was the name of the publication was and who the writer was; I'll try to find out - that Helmut Marko was poised to join Ferrari in 1973. I'm almost sure he had already signed with the Scuderia for the World Sportscar Championship, and there was a chance he'd be chosen to replace Clay Regazzoni alongside Ickx in F1. I'll look for more details, but he was seen as a promising single-seater driver and, back then, having 29  was no problem.
About the stone, I always read it was Fittipaldi's Lotus because Peterson would be far behind, but it might be a mistake perpetuated in books.

I read that also, probably on some web page.  I believe it was an interview.  Marko said he had a Ferrari contract in his briefcase, then had his accident, and the ride went to Lauda. 

He was also supposed to drive a Ferrari at the final sportscar race of '72, at Watkins Glen, but the accident put a stop to that as well. 



#33 GMiranda

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 14:31

I read that also, probably on some web page.  I believe it was an interview.  Marko said he had a Ferrari contract in his briefcase, then had his accident, and the ride went to Lauda. 

He was also supposed to drive a Ferrari at the final sportscar race of '72, at Watkins Glen, but the accident put a stop to that as well. 

I ahve the idea it was on a magazine, but it may also be on the web. Marko drove at Zeltweg 1000Km for Ferrari, then he had the accident.



#34 sabrejet

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 15:58

I read that also, probably on some web page.  I believe it was an interview.  Marko said he had a Ferrari contract in his briefcase, then had his accident, and the ride went to Lauda. 

He was also supposed to drive a Ferrari at the final sportscar race of '72, at Watkins Glen, but the accident put a stop to that as well. 

 

Not Lauda: Ickx/Brian Redman and Merzario/Vaccarella were the regulars for '73, with Pace, Reutemann, Schenken etc making the odd appearance.



#35 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 16:23

I read that also, probably on some web page.  I believe it was an interview.  Marko said he had a Ferrari contract in his briefcase, then had his accident, and the ride went to Lauda. 

He was also supposed to drive a Ferrari at the final sportscar race of '72, at Watkins Glen, but the accident put a stop to that as well. 

Awaiting the Ferner bomber to blast you guys out of the water. 

 

In the mean time I like to add that Lauda's go at Ferrari wasn't a simple choice made by Enzo. He had been hearing great stories from Chinetti on this young Frenchman Jarier that drove the NART 712. While also for the US market Peter Revson was fully in the picture.   

Yet in 1973 Ferrari looked at many other drivers for '74 like Scheckter and Fittipaldi.

 

Now I guess at the time Marko was added for his endurance performances as Ferrari had a multi-car squad to fill in 1972.

Marko owns the Schlossberghotel and Augartenhotel in Graz.


Edited by Arjan de Roos, 29 November 2021 - 19:15.


#36 Dave Ware

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 19:31

I should have specified that Marko said he had a Ferrari F1 contract in his briefcase. Based on what I remember reading.

#37 GMiranda

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 23:01

Awaiting the Ferner bomber to blast you guys out of the water. 

 

In the mean time I like to add that Lauda's go at Ferrari wasn't a simple choice made by Enzo. He had been hearing great stories from Chinetti on this young Frenchman Jarier that drove the NART 712. While also for the US market Peter Revson was fully in the picture.   

Yet in 1973 Ferrari looked at many other drivers for '74 like Scheckter and Fittipaldi.

 

Now I guess at the time Marko was added for his endurance performances as Ferrari had a multi-car squad to fill in 1972.

Marko owns the Schlossberghotel and Augartenhotel in Graz.

Yes, Jarier told it in an interview to Echappement Classic. Marko was driving for Alfa Romeo on the WSC in 1972 and left for Ferrari in July, so there was already some kind of agreement for something, as Ferrari had plenty of Endurance drivers back then.



#38 chr1s

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 23:31

This could well be true. I remember a line from "Racing Mechanic" by Jeremy Walton.  Ermmano Cuoghi was recounting when he first met Lauda and how he came to the factory with Helmut Marko. This had always struck me as a bit odd, in a way that it would not have done had it been, say Reggazoni. Why would Lauda come with Marko?  But Cuoghi mentions it as if it were perfectly logical that he'd be there...



#39 Michael Ferner

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 07:21

Awaiting the Ferner bomber to blast you guys out of the water. 

 

 

:confused:



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#40 Sterzo

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 11:50

This could well be true. I remember a line from "Racing Mechanic" by Jeremy Walton.  Ermmano Cuoghi was recounting when he first met Lauda and how he came to the factory with Helmut Marko. This had always struck me as a bit odd, in a way that it would not have done had it been, say Reggazoni. Why would Lauda come with Marko?  But Cuoghi mentions it as if it were perfectly logical that he'd be there...

Marko is of course a lawyer, and being a friend and rival of Lauda he also helped advise him sometimes. Not saying that's why he was there that day, but it's possible.



#41 arttidesco

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 18:31

The time line does not match up for Lauda taking a seat from Marko at Ferrari.

 

If Marko had a Ferrari contract at the time of his accident that was in 1972, so lets say Marko might have driven for Ferrari in F1 and Sportscars during 1973. Art Mezario would then have been hired after Markos accident to drive for Ferrari in F1 for the 1973 season.

 

Niki did not arrive in the frame for a Ferrari F1 drive until late in the 1973 and that was on the recommendation of his BRM team mate Clay who had just been signed for the 1974 season.



#42 GMiranda

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 18:54

The time line does not match up for Lauda taking a seat from Marko at Ferrari.

 

If Marko had a Ferrari contract at the time of his accident that was in 1972, so lets say Marko might have driven for Ferrari in F1 and Sportscars during 1973. Art Mezario would then have been hired after Markos accident to drive for Ferrari in F1 for the 1973 season.

 

Niki did not arrive in the frame for a Ferrari F1 drive until late in the 1973 and that was on the recommendation of his BRM team mate Clay who had just been signed for the 1974 season.

I think Lauda was not in the frame of a Ferrari seat in 1972, as his season with March wasn't good. Ferrari noticed him early in 1973 with BRM, the car wasn't bad, but underdeveloped and the team was also overstretched due to Stanley's mismanagement when he signed with Marlboro. Both in 1972 and 1973, BRM had great teams.



#43 john aston

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 07:43

From my  my perspective . Lauda was just another European chancer who had made no big impression on me when I'd seen him in F2 (the  F2 win I saw at Oulton Park in 72 apart ) , and even less in the F1 March in 1972 . The scales fell from my eyes as he screamed  by in second place at the restart of the  British GP in 1973. Over the next 12 years he became the driver whom I admired more than any other, before or since .  



#44 Michael Ferner

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Posted 01 December 2021 - 08:41

After his injury induced retirement from driving, Marko kept in touch with the sport for many years in the form of mentor or advisor for younger drivers, I recall a photograph showing him with Markus Höttinger later in the decade.



#45 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 18:17

Marko was free for the 1000km Österreichring weekend as Alfa chose (like Matra) not to start that race. I suppose he was simply a sub for Regazzoni who had injured his wrist in a football match with drivers and mechanics (!) at Zeltweg! Likely as Marko was a local and he could jump in straight away.

For Watkins Glen he may have been chosen, depending on Rega's recovery. As he did not start I guess his ride was a single one. He did shine!



#46 GMiranda

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 21:58

After his injury induced retirement from driving, Marko kept in touch with the sport for many years in the form of mentor or advisor for younger drivers, I recall a photograph showing him with Markus Höttinger later in the decade.

Yes, he helped Höttinger and Bürger.



#47 Ian G

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Posted 02 December 2021 - 22:02

Craig Lowndes,Oz Touring Car Driver,had a season with Marko as team principal.Journo's at the time said he was lucky to return to Oz. in one piece as Marko placed enormous pressure on him 24/7.

Tom Walkinshaw arranged the F3000 drive but Lowndes also fell out with him,he was extremely homesick at the time so his Euro. experiment was a disaster.

 

 

 

Formula 3000[]

Lowndes left Australia and went to Europe to further his open wheeler racing career, by competing with the RSM Marko Team in the 1997 International Formula 3000 Championship[4] as teammate to Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya. He was comprehensively beaten by his teammate which resulted in him failing to find a budget to compete a second year.


Edited by Ian G, 02 December 2021 - 22:13.


#48 absinthedude

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 08:59

Regarding Marko's contact with the sport post-accident, I certainly remember his name being mentioned in relation to young Austrian drivers in the 80s. That caused me to look him up and learn about his racing career and it's sad end. From reading books and articles written in the 70s, I got the impression he was considered a fine racing driver.  though i am no fan of him today, with the way he manages his role at RBR. 



#49 BRG

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 10:58

 

 

 

Lowndes left Australia and went to Europe to further his open wheeler racing career, by competing with the RSM Marko Team in the 1997 International Formula 3000 Championship[4] as teammate to Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya. He was comprehensively beaten by his teammate which resulted in him failing to find a budget to compete a second year.

Why would anyone be surprised that an average jockey like Lowndes was demolished by a top-level driver like Montoya?  It was hardly Marko's fault that Craig wasn't good enough.



#50 Ian G

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Posted 03 December 2021 - 23:29

Why would anyone be surprised that an average jockey like Lowndes was demolished by a top-level driver like Montoya?  It was hardly Marko's fault that Craig wasn't good enough.

 

Yes,but that's not the point i was making.

Webber ran into the same problems,i could qoute some of his comments on why he and Marko didn't talk or acknowledge each other but i'll let others run with that if they think it is fit for this Thread.