Former Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo believes Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has softened in recent years and advises Sergio Perez to hug him and see how he reacts.
Ricciardo made his Red Bull debut in 2014 after a great season at Toro Rosso and in Red Bull he defeated four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in his first season who moved to Ferrari the following year.
The Australian stayed at Red Bull until the end of 2018, after which he went to Renault, and on the eve of Perez’s arrival in his former team, Ricciardo advised him how to deal with Marko, who is known for his brutal honesty and uncompromising attitude towards his drivers.
“Just hug him and see how he handles it,” Ricciardo advised Perez.
“Helmut has become a little softer in recent years. Maybe it’s down to maturity, but I also feel he’s become a little bit nicer.”
Ricciardo admitted that in the younger days of his career he was afraid to talk to Marko in private, but that he always appreciated his honesty.
“With him, you get 100% transparency and honesty,” he said.
“If you’re not good, he’ll tell you.”
“You have to be willing to receive constructive criticism and not take everything personally.”
“He says these things just to get the most out of you. And he tells you that because he cares and because he believes in you.”
“If he’s criticizing you then you should kind of see it as a compliment.”
Ricciardo admitted that he is still on good terms with Marko and that they often bet with each other, just as he bet with Renault F1 team boss Cyril Abiteboul that they both have to get tattooed if he ends up on the podium for Renault.
“A few years ago he took a few euros from me so he currently has an advantage when it comes to betting,” Ricciardo told about Marko.
“If he offers a good bet next season, I’ll participate. It’s a good way to maintain our relationship.”