‘Flabbergasted’ Helmut Marko reacts to alleged Christian Horner evidence leak

Michelle Foster
Helmut Marko sitting down with Christian Horner.

Helmut Marko and Christian Horner

Helmut Marko says he is “flabbergasted and surprised” after an email claiming to contain alleged evidence relating to the Christian Horner investigation was leaked.

24 hours after Christian Horner was cleared of wrongdoing after the F1 team’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH, had investigated him over his alleged behaviour, the team boss was back in the headlines on Thursday night.

An email claiming to contain evidence from the investigation had been widely released, prompting Horner’s swift departure from the Red Bull pit wall as the chequered flag fell on FP2.

Helmut Marko weighs in on alleged leaked email

Having maintained his silence throughout the investigation, which ended with Red Bull dismissing the grievance against him, late Thursday night he released a personal statement.

“I won’t comment on anonymous speculation, but to reiterate, I have always denied the allegations,” said the Red Bull team boss.

“I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully cooperated with it every step of the way.

“It was a thorough and fair investigation conducted by an independent specialist barrister and it has concluded, dismissing the complaint made. I remain fully focused on the start of the season.”

The leak, though, has come as a shock to his fellow Red Bull team members.

“I’m flabbergasted and surprised that the documents were leaked. I’ve never seen them myself,” motorsport-total quotes Marko as having told Bild.

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Clearing Horner of any wrongdoing, Red Bull GmbH made it clear in their statement that they would not be revealing any further details.

“The investigation report is confidential and contains the private information of the parties and third parties who assisted in the investigation, and therefore we will not be commenting further out of respect for all concerned,” it read.

However, Toto Wolff and Zak Brown both believe greater transparency is needed to move F1 on from the investigation.

“My personal opinion is we can’t really look at the behind the curtain,” Wolff told media including PlanetF1.com.

“At the end of the day there is a lady in an organisation that has spoken to HR and said there is an issue and it was investigated and yesterday the sport has received a message ‘it’s all fine. We’ve looked at it.’

“I believe that with the sport as a global sport, on such critical topics, it needs more transparency and I wonder what the sport’s position is.

“We are competitors, we are a team and we can have our own personal opinions or not. But it’s more like a general reaction or action that we as a sport need. We need to assess what is right in that situation, what is wrong.”

Brown added: “I read the statement – I think from what I’ve seen there continues to be a lot of rumours, speculation and questions,” Brown said.

“I think the sanctioning body [the FIA] has a responsibility and authority to our sport and the fans. All of us in Formula 1 are ambassadors for the sport, on and off the track, like you see in other sports.

“They need to make sure things have been fully transparent with them. And I don’t know what those conversations are – and it needs to be thorough and fully transparent, that they come to the same conclusion that has been given by Red Bull and that they agree with the outcome.

“That’s what is needed by those who run the sport, to be able to draw a line under it. And until then there will continue to be some level of speculation by people and I don’t think that’s healthy for the sport.”

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