Despite threatening “consequences” as he took centre stage in the Red Bull driver speculation, Helmut Marko says he can “well imagine” it was Fernando Alonso who started the rumours.
As Sergio Perez crashed out on the opening lap of the Mexican Grand Prix, rumours on social media, set off by Spanish journalist Albert Fabrega, hinted that a major change was on the horizon.
“I don’t want to believe the rumour that they have told me now in the paddock. No,” he wrote on X.
And so the F1 rumour mill went into high gear
He later clarified the rumour had “nothing to do with driver exchanges between teams, or withdrawals.”
But as it took off on social media, the story went from everything from Alonso taking Perez’s Red Bull seat to the Spaniard quitting Formula 1 at the end of this season.
Alonso was not happy to find himself making headlines over this.
He told Julianne Cerasoli during a media session with Brazilian journalists: “I respect those of you who have been here for years, are professionals, do your job.
“These rumours are coming from people who are not in this room, who are just doing this for fun. But there are consequences.”
But while he spoke of consequences, Marko says he wouldn’t be surprised if it was Alonso who started the rumour.
He told F1-Insider.com: “As for the rumours about Alonso: I can well imagine that Alonso spread them himself because his results with Aston Martin have been very disappointing recently after the brilliant start to the season.
“It wouldn’t be the first time that he used his home media to create a mood.
“Once again and for the record: We only have sporting goals in mind that we will keep ourselves busy with until the last race in Abu Dhabi. And they are, we want to win all the races and make it clear to Perez that he is runner-up.”
The 80-year-old Red Bull motorsport advisor continued, insisting that there was no truth whatsoever that Perez was about to lose his job, once again insisting Red Bull would honour his 2024 contract.
“This is all completely out of thin air,” he said. “Both Christian Horner and I have emphasised several times that Perez will also drive with us next year.
“Regardless of the results. He has a contract and we will stick to it!”