In a Formula 1 season lacking for drama on the track, at least at the front of the field, much of the intrigue is focused on what is happening off the track. That has led in recent days to speculation about a power struggle at Red Bull.
But one of the central figures in that play has put to rest any speculation about such a fight.
A report from Brazilian outlet Globo indicated that rising tensions between Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner and senior advisor Dr. Helmut Marko were reaching a boiling point, and that a meeting was scheduled for this week to determine Marko’s future with the organization.
Marko has now addressed those reports, brushing them aside and denying any such “summit” would be taking place.
“There is no summit this week,” he said to Austrian outlet OE24. “I have a contract until the end of next year. When and how I stop, when it’s over, I decide and not, for example, Mr. Horner.”
Marko did indicate that, following the passing of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz last season, people are trying to “redefine” their power within the organization.
This has been a rather tumultuous season for Marko, who admitted that he and Horner were not on the same page when it came to Nyck de Vries, who was sacked midseason at AlphaTauri. Speaking on a podcast Marko made it clear that he was pushing for De Vries to get the seat at Red Bull’s sister team, and that Horner was not in favor of the move.
Marko has also repeatedly put the focus on Sergio Pérez, and the driver’s inconsistent performances this year. Marko also needed to apologize to the driver and the team for blaming Pérez’s inconsistency on his “cultural heritage.”
However, Marko also denied any sort of “ultimatum” for Pérez to finish in second in the Drivers’ Championship this season to save his seat at Red Bull. While also denying reports that Yuki. Tsunoda is set to be replaced at AlphaTauri following 2024, Marko quickly pivoted to the Pérez rumors.
“This is all just speculation. Just like the one about Pérez,” said Marko. “There is no ultimatum for Pérez. I think we’re winning too much – incredible things are being brought into the world. Max Verstappen’s performance should be appreciated much more, it is extraordinary.”