Helmut Marko has revealed talks will shortly commence about his future with Red Bull, and nothing is certain…
Rumours about Marko’s future with the Red Bull team have swirled for some time, the 80-year-old Austrian finding himself in the middle of a maelstrom of negativity during 2023 after making comments about Sergio Perez that casted aspersions on his talents based on his nationality.
Coinciding with that were unfounded rumours of a power struggle within Red Bull, with both Marko and team boss Christian Horner downplaying the nature of these rumours – although Marko has made it clear he’s not enjoying his F1 duties quite as much since the death of Red Bull owner and close friend Dietrich Mateschitz.
Helmut Marko: Decisions are still open on what happens next
With Red Bull as an organisation still finding their way forward just over a year on from Mateschitz’s death, the eponymous F1 team is enjoying unprecedented success as they head into 2024 after the most dominant season ever put in by a team in the sport’s 73-year-history as a championship.
But what involvement will Marko have going forward?
Opening up in an interview with Austria’s OE24, Marko explained that he’s enjoying some quiet time back in Graz in his ‘day’ job as a hotelier, but confirmed that there will be talks ‘next week’ about whether he will continue to work as strenuously as Red Bull’s motorsport consultant from now on.
One tenuous possibility put to Marko was that Horner’s role in F1 could be broadened to oversee both Red Bull and AlphaTauri, which Marko didn’t outright deny.
“There are different trends and variants,” he said.
“The decisions are still open – including what I will do next. My current contract runs until the end of 2024.”
However, PlanetF1.com understands there is no possibility of Horner ever taking over from the retiring Franz Tost as team boss for Red Bull’s second squad.
A rumour about the supposed power dynamics within Red Bull was that Max Verstappen – so critical to Red Bull’s ongoing success – is particularly eager to see Marko continue in his role. Will that have any bearing on the discussions?
“That’s a complex issue,” Marko said.
“Of course, I also have an obligation to Red Bull and Max. Nevertheless, the overall package has to fit. Nothing has been decided yet.”
With Red Bull as an organisation carving a new path after the death of Mateschitz, Marko explained how he was disappointed his former boss and friend hadn’t been able to see the staggering success Red Bull achieved within just a few months of his death.
“It’s now an extended group of people, including Mark Mateschitz, the Thais, and Oliver Mintzlaff,” he said.
“The way we used to be able to decide things with Dietrich Mateschitz was unique. After this winning season, which put everything in the shade, I was incredibly sorry that he was no longer able to experience it.”