Christian Horner has reiterated that Helmut Marko is not an employee of Red Bull Racing after the Austrian was listed as a company director.
Following Horner’s statement that Marko was not an employee of Red Bull Racing and therefore the team did not comment on his xenophobic remarks, the company’s listing on the UK government website was brought to attention.
According to Companies House, the register of companies in the UK, Marko is listed as a director along with Horner which some took to mean the team principal had not told the truth earlier in the weekend.
Christian Horner clarifies Helmut Marko’s Red Bull Racing director role
The exact nature of Marko’s contract came under scrutiny this weekend when, following xenophobic comments made by the 80-year-old aimed at Sergio Perez, there was confusion as to why Red Bull Racing had not publicly commented on the matter.
Horner’s reasoning was Marko, in his special advisor role to Red Bull GmbH, was not a direct employee of Red Bull Racing and therefore the team would leave it up to their parent company.
But some were not happy with that explanation given Marko’s close association with the team and a link to the UK government’s official website quickly surfaced which listed Marko as a director of Red Bull Racing and many people assumed he was therefore an employee.
But that was not actually the case with anybody able to serve as a director for a company even if they do not get paid by that company.
The UK website lists just two directors – Horner and Marko – with the latter’s occupation registered as hotelier due to him owning two properties in Graz, but Horner has confirmed that he is not on the Red Bull Racing payroll.
“His contract is with Red Bull GmbH,” Horner told the media following the race in Singapore. “He’s not an employee, he’s not on the payroll of Red Bull Racing.
“To be a director doesn’t mean that you are automatically an employee, as we see with other companies if you look at who the directorships are, so his reporting line and structure is to Red Bull GmbH so that doesn’t sit on our books.”
Horner himself is listed as director of four companies in Red Bull Racing, and Red Bull Technology as well as two companies with his wife – Estelle Ward and Ombi.
While parent company Red Bull GmbH did not directly comment on Marko’s transgressions, Horner suggested on Friday that the statement put out through the company’s TV network Servus TV was proof that they had taken action.
Marko received a written warning and a reminder of responsibilities by the FIA after falling foul of the governing body’s Code of Ethics.