Marko was born in Graz, Austria. He was a school friend of Jochen Rindt, who became Formula One world champion in 1970. Marko competed in several race series, including 10 Formula One Grands Prix in 1971 and 1972, but scored no World Championship points.
He had more success in endurance racing, winning the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans, driving a Martini-Porsche 917K with Gijs van Lennep. During that year, they set a distance record which remained unbeaten until the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans (5,335.313 km, at an average of 222.304 km/h). (Changes to the track reduced the average speed.)
At the Targa Florio, he drove the fastest laps around the 72 km Sicilian mountain circuit in the 1972 race, catching up over two minutes on the leader within two laps to finish second by a mere 17 seconds. His fastest lap in the Alfa Romeo 33 was 33 min 41 sec, at an average of 128.253 km/h.
A few weeks later, on 2 July 1972, during the 1972 French Grand Prix at Clermont-Ferrand, a stone thrown up by Emerson Fittipaldi's Lotus pierced Marko's helmet visor, permanently blinding his left eye and ending his racing career.
Marko completed a doctorate in law in 1967. He owns two hotels in Graz – the Schlossberghotel and Augartenhotel. He was manager for Austrian racing drivers Gerhard Berger and Karl Wendlinger for some years before setting up and running RSM Marko in 1989, a race team competing in Formula 3 and Formula 3000; running under the name Red Bull Junior Team from 1999 onwards. From 1999 he has also overseen the Red Bull driver development programme, which has steered drivers such as Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max Verstappen into Formula One. Since 2005 he has been advisor to the Red Bull Racing Formula One team and since 2006 he has also advised the Scuderia Toro Rosso, now Scuderia AlphaTauri Formula One team.
24 Hours of Le Mans results
|1970||Martini International Racing Team||Rudi Lins||Porsche 908/2LH||P
|1971||Martini International Racing Team||Gijs van Lennep||Porsche 917K||S
|1972||Autodelta SpA||Vic Elford||Alfa Romeo Tipo 33TT3||S
Complete European Formula Two Championship results
|1971||Ecurie Bonnier||Lola T240||Ford||HOC
|Constructions Mechanique Pygmée||Pygmée MDB16||MAN
Complete Formula One World Championship results
|1971||Ecurie Bonnier||McLaren M7C||Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8||RSA||ESP||MON||NED||FRA||GBR||GER
|Yardley-BRM||BRM P153||BRM P142 3.0 V12||AUT
|BRM P153||BRM P142 3.0 V12||ARG
- Delaney, Michael (3 November 2019). "No retirement in sight for the good Dr. Marko". www.f1i.com. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
- Völker, Herbert. "The First Formula One Pop Star". The Red Bulletin September 2010. Red Bull Media House GmbH. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- Örnerdal, Stefan. "56th Targa Florio 1972". Formula 2 Register. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
- A Era dos Campeões (DVD). Hangar Filmes.
- Williams, Richard (14 November 2010). "Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko, the mastermind behind Sebastian Vettel". The Observer. London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "Charade". racingcircuits.info. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- "The Volcanic Rush of Clermont Ferrand". speedhunters.com. August 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Völker, Herbert. "Die Diagnosen des Doktors". Zeit Online. ZEIT ONLINE GmbH. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
- "All Results of Helmut Marko". RacingSportCars. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- "Helmut Marko – Biography". MotorSportMagazine. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
- Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 245. ISBN 0851127029.