Recently, Red Bull motorsport advisor, Dr Helmut Marko reveals one of the biggest mistakes he ever made. Apparently, he was supposedly close to signing Lewis Hamilton to Red Bull after he sensationally elected to leave McLaren.
At that time, in 2013, Lewis Hamilton was one of Formula One’s biggest stars on the track. Then, the driver market was blown wide open when he elected to part ways with McLaren in 2013.
Around the same time, Red Bull were ruling the roost with Sebastian Vettel clinching their 4th title. A top driver of Hamilton’s calibre in a top team like Red Bull would have honestly been a match made in heaven. However, little did they know that their period of dominance was coming to an end.
So, Marko let Lewis Hamilton slip through his fingers and the Briton switched to Mercedes. Since then, he has not looked back and even taken his Championship tally up to five. In other words, Helmut Marko is now kicking himself for not snapping Hamilton for Red Bull.
“Lewis was unhappy with McLaren and there was no free place with us,” Marko revealed to Motorsport-Total.com. “Then I thought it would be better if he went to Mercedes and we massively supported [Niki] Lauda from Lewis.”
“McLaren was our strongest opponent at the time. In retrospect, it would have been much better if he had stayed with McLaren. Now you can see how tactical you can sometimes be wrong.”
Marko’s current Red Bull driver conundrum revolves around finding a team-mate for Max Verstappen for the 2020 season. For now, the candidates include Toro Rosso pair Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat, and current driver Alex Albon.
According to reports, the final cal will be made after the United States Grand Prix in November. Marko has ruled out candidates outside the trio, so a Red Bull reunion with Sebastian Vettel is out of question.
“I have no idea what Vettel’s future is,” Marko admitted to Speed Week. “We had some wonderful years together, but we have our four drivers.”