Helmut Marko addresses Red Bull collapse fears as Christian Horner turmoil continues

Michelle Foster
Helmut Marko sitting down with Christian Horner.

Helmut Marko and Christian Horner

Helmut Marko is convinced Red Bull’s “strength and cohesion will remain intact” as the team finds its way through the Christian Horner saga.

Red Bull dominantly won the Bahrain Grand Prix with a 1-2 to kick off their title defence, but it was the team’s off-track drama surrounding Horner that created all the headlines in Bahrain.

Helmut Marko: Our strength and cohesion will remain intact

Although the Briton was cleared by Red Bull’s parent company after an investigation into his alleged behaviour, the ink on the statement was barely dry before the team boss was once again having to defend himself.

An email was widely distributed on Thursday evening claiming to contain information pertinent to the investigation.

As rival team bosses weighed in, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem met with Horner after which he called the matter “damaging” to Formula 1.

It’s also been damaging to Red Bull, although the team put it to the side to claim the season-opening victory in Bahrain with Max Verstappen leading home Sergio Perez for a 1-2 result.

“It isn’t pleasant, but we concentrated on the sport and, thank God, that worked out perfectly,” Marko told Sky Deutschland.

“We saw today [Bahrain GP] how the team showed an incredible performance. The strategy, the pit stops – everything worked.

“We assume that our strength and cohesion will remain intact.”

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Ralf Schumacher: This may not end until someone leaves

Former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher, who now commentates for Sky, believes the Horner story will continue to rumble on.

Although he feels it has taken too much attention away from the racing, he reckons it may not end until “someone leaves”.

“This is still a test, the issue is not over yet,” said the German.

“Until everything is clarified and everyone apologises or someone leaves, it is not over. It has taken up a lot of space this week, actually too much. The damage to the brand is already gigantic.”

One person leaving, namely Horner, is what Verstappen’s father Jos Verstappen believes would be the best course of action.

“There is tension here while he remains in position,” the former F1 driver told Mail Sport. “The team is in danger of being torn apart.

“It can’t go on the way it is. It will explode. He is playing the victim, when he is the one causing the problems.”

Horner has denied any wrongdoing throughout the investigation and its conclusion.

Read next: Jos Verstappen: Christian Horner ‘playing victim when he’s the one causing problems’