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Team talk: Getting to know… Super Mario

Yeah you need good cars, great engineers and brilliant drivers to make a successful racing team, but there’s one ingredient more important than all three and it starts with ‘F” and ends in “G”. Feeding…

Ever wondered what happened in Tasmania? Hanger – the boys were hangry, a mix between hungry and angry that can turn even the best of friends against one other. It’s no coincidence form picked up on the team chef’s return and with that, we introduce the most important member of Red Bull Racing Australia – Mario. Sorry, that’s the second most important person… RD is No.1. He’s also usually the first to the kitchen…

The Red Bull Racing Australia factory is Mario’s restaurant five days a week, Mario catering for around 50 staffers a day and whatever new fad diet Dutto is trialling that week. He goes on the road, too. Mario’s also a man of few words and really likes it when we pronounce his name like we’re playing Mario Brothers (we think).

Q: Mario! Being Italian you obviously have an affinity with all things motorcars – Ferraris, Mario Kart and what not. How did you end up at Red Bull Racing Australia?

A: Well, I used to own my own restaurant that some of the Triple Eight team used to frequent and it only took them a few years but they eventually discovered I could cook!

Q: So if you weren’t keeping the team fed you’d be…

A: Cooking at McDonald’s! No, I’d still be running my own restaurant and would only be cooking as much in a week as these boys eat in a sitting. Haha.

Q: Exactly how many grease monkeys depend on you to stay alert on any given race weekend? Have you considered rationing RD’s portions? He’s been way too happy lately… It’s kind of scary.

A: Haha. I’m not sure that would be a good career move… But we’ve got the kitchen running like a well-oiled machine and feed around 200 mouths. And not one tip would you believe… Haha.

Q: If bacon and eggs is the breakfast of champions, what’s the dinner of V8 Supercars champions?

A: Traditional Beef Wellingtons (as seen above coming steaming hot out of the oven. Hungry anyone?!) and Red Bull. The boys don’t take too kindly when I get creative. Ha.

Q: Tell us one thing about the Red Bull team we don’t know?

A: What happens on track stays on track. My lips are sealed!

Q: Ok, then… Tell us one thing about Roland or Adrian they don’t want us to know?

A: I value my job too much.

Q: Hmm, a common thread is appearing in these here chats… Can anyone work in motorsport if they really want to?

A:Yes, if they have the passion and are team players. But, boy, you need to have a thick skin!

Q: Again with the thick skin… If we didn’t know any better we’d say the team was run with an iron fist. If you could be the personal chef to one athlete who would it be?

A: I’d have to say Mark Webber. But it’s a tough decision – Winton or Monaco?

Q: What’s your dream job? And what’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

A: Roland’s chair looks pretty good but I would settle for team chef with the Ferrari F1 team. C’mon, I am Italian after all! But I’d stay if Roland matched the pay rate. Haha. My worst job was an underwater ceramic inspector – that’s a fancy name for dish-washer – in a five-star hotel feeding 400+ people. My hands ended up looking like Benjamin Button’s.