Christian Horner clarifies Helmut Marko relations amidst Red Bull off-track dramas

Michelle Foster
Helmut Marko, pictured in the Red Bull garage at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Helmut Marko walks through the Red Bull garage.

Christian Horner has quashed suggestions he had a role in the investigation that Helmut Marko says could’ve led to his suspension, adamant he was “not involved”.

For the second weekend in a row, Red Bull’s off-track headlines overshadowed a win for Max Verstappen as this time it was Marko who was said to be under investigation by Red Bull GmbH.

‘It is not something I’ve been involved in’

The Red Bull motorsport advisor was the one who broke the news when he told ORF that the “theoretical possibility exists” that he could be suspended.

That, understands, related to the leaks in the Horner investigation, which included an email that claimed to contain information into that.

The matter was resolved some 24 hours later when, after Verstappen publicly threw his support behind Marko and said he’d leave if the Austrian was ousted, Marko met with Red Bull’s higher-ups and then told Sky Germany he “will carry on, yes”.

Carrying on means Marko and Horner will continue their working relationship with the latter denying he had anything do with Saturday’s decision.

“There has been no decision-making process around Helmut, so I am not quite sure where the rumours permeated from. But it is not something I’ve been involved in,” he said.

In fact, he didn’t even know about the possible suspension until it made the news.

“I think the rumours about the suspension were as [much] news to the team as it was to anybody else, so we were quite surprised to hear that,” he said.

“Helmut is a contractor to Red Bull GmbH, so it was an issue between them and we weren’t part of that discussion.

“I’ve known Helmut since 1996 and he’s played an important role over the years, that role has evolved over the years. But I’ve known him a very, very long time.

“And coming up 81 years of age, he’s still obviously motivated about Formula 1, which is a positive thing.” recommends

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Christian Horner denies fall-out with Helmut Marko

The team boss also denied that he’d had a falling out with Marko, saying: “My relationship with Helmut is no issue. I think that he’s always been outspoken. But that’s Helmut.”

Horner, who earlier in the race weekend called for a line to be drawn under the saga, was adamant Red Bull was “one team”.

“We’re focused on winning, and that’s what we do well, and that’s what we’ve done today. That’s how we’ve started this season,” he said.

“Obviously, I’m aware of all the noise, but it hasn’t distracted the team from the job. We are one team now.

“Obviously, speculation about Helmut is speculation about Helmut, but Helmut doesn’t work for me, he doesn’t work for Red Bull Racing, he works for Red Bull GmbH.

“But I think I can see that there’s a very clear route that he’s looking forward and wanting to continue this incredible winning streak that we’ve been on.

“We all have a common interest, which is the performance of the team and the team is what comes first for every single member that has a role to play in the team from the very top to the very bottom.

“And without the team working in absolute harmony it is impossible to achieve performances like this. But if an individual doesn’t want to be at the team… We don’t force people to be here.”

He added: “Everybody has a role to play no matter what that role is. I think this team has been incredibly successful, and it has had tremendous ability for a long period of time. That has been one of the keys to our success.”

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