David Croft speaks on Red Bull’s ‘battle for power’ and impact on Christian Horner

Henry Valantine
Red Bull boss Christian Horner in the paddock in Melbourne.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft has spoken on the apparent “battle for power” at Red Bull, and feels the goings-on may eventually “take a toll” on the team.

While the internal investigation into team principal Christian Horner was dismissed by parent company Red Bull GmbH, public words of discontent from the likes of Helmut Marko and Jos Verstappen have hinted at behind-the-scenes disquiet, though on-track performances have not suffered for it.

David Croft discusses apparent Red Bull ‘battle for power’

With the likes of Marko claiming he may be suspended, before stating he will remain with the team, and Max Verstappen’s father criticising Horner for staying in post before admitting recently “it will take some time” to “regain calm” at Red Bull, the off-track discussion about the reigning World Champions has continued throughout the season so far.

While Horner appears to have the backing of the Red Bull’s majority owners, Sky’s lead F1 commentator explained the background talk may be “draining the energy levels” – even though the team have scored 87 points from a possible 88 so far after a flying start to the season.

“What seems to be a battle for power behind the scenes is taking place not to the detriment of their sporting performance at the moment,” Croft told Fox Sports Australia.

“But if there’s a lot going on the background that is grabbing the attention and draining the energy levels, that might take a toll eventually.

“It’s a long, long season ahead.”

Max Verstappen in particular sparked headlines when he hinted that his future with the team was partially tied to that of motorsport advisor Marko, with the 80-year-old’s future subsequently confirmed to be with the company after he had hinted at a possible suspension recently.

Croft understands this viewpoint from the Dutchman, given how close Marko is and has been with so many drivers through the course of their careers.

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“Marko, at the end of the day, is the guy who has guided Max Verstappen in Formula 1 and throughout his time in Formula 1,” Croft said.

“Marko has that special relationship with the drivers because that’s his job. That is his purpose.”

Regarding Horner himself, it has been widely reported that the individual at the centre of the internal investigation at Red Bull GmbH has lodged an appeal into the outcome, which saw the allegations into the team principal dismissed.

Horner has already spoken about the impact it has had on him personally, and Croft agrees it will be affecting him and those around him.

“Christian Horner’s future is subject to the results of that appeal. I’m sure it would take a toll, not just on Christian, but his family as well,” he stated.

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