Helmut Marko issues hands off warning to Ferrari over staff poaching

Michelle Foster
Helmut Marko smiling with Christian Horner. Austria July 2022.

Helmut Marko smiling with Christian Horner in the Red Bull garage. Austria July 2022.

Helmut Marko has told Ferrari that Red Bull is “not a bazaar” for them to do their personnel shopping after the Scuderia reportedly failed to sign Pierre Waché.

Having lost David Sanchez to McLaren, and set to lose Laurent Mekies when the Frenchman takes over from Franz Tost as AlphaTauri’s team boss, Ferrari have reportedly been shopping around. More to the point, shopping at Red Bull.

They came up short, their attempts to lure Enrico Balbo and Pierre Waché over to Maranello unsuccessful.

‘There was a move for Enrico Balbo, aerodynamics chief of Red Bull,’ claimed Gazzetto dello Sport, ‘but the negotiations immediately stopped due to the latter’s refusal to leave Milton Keynes.

“In addition, Pierre Waché, the technical director of the World Champion team, was contacted. But even in this case the proposal was rejected.’

Marko has now told Ferrari to back off, the Red Bull motorsport advisor not impressed with their antics.

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He told Sport1: “We all want Ferrari to be competitive. But that’s not how it works. We’re not a bazaar.

“Apart from the fact that our Waché doesn’t want to change teams, and we would not agree to it.”

Signing Waché would have been a major coup for Ferrari given that the former Sauber man is design guru Adrian Newey’s right hand at Red Bull.

Starting out with Michelin, he moved onto Sauber and then Red Bull in 2013 where Newey is said to have taken him under his wing.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner was recently asked about the reports that Ferrari were trying to recruit from Red Bull but he said it’s just rumours.

“The individuals that have been mentioned in connection with Ferrari came to see me last week and mentioned their disbelief in some of these rumours,” he said.

“But there are no plans of any senior members of our team to be joining Maranello.”

Ferrari are not the only team keen on persuading Red Bull personnel to swap teams with Mercedes reportedly having gone straight to the top, Newey.

According to F1-Insider, Toto Wolff had one of his assistances who previously worked at Red Bull give the design guru a call. A short while later Newey put pen to paper on a new Red Bull deal.