Helmut Marko responds to Toto Wolff’s Red Bull ‘wobble’ claim amidst Verstappen rumours

Michelle Foster
Max Verstappen, Helmut Marko and a Mercedes badge

Helmut Marko weighs in on Max Verstappen to Mercedes rumours

As calmness descends at Red Bull, Helmut Marko is happy they’re getting “back to business” as on-track success is what’s needed to hold onto star driver Max Verstappen.

Red Bull have had a turbulent start to the year after news broke back in February that team boss Christian Horner was under investigation for alleged inappropriate behaviour towards a colleague.

Helmut Marko weighs in on Max Verstappen’s future

Red Bull GmbH investigated the grievance before dismissing it on the eve of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

That did nothing to stop the headlines as an email claiming to contain information about the investigation was widely released before Max Verstappen’s father Jos called for Horner to step down from his role of team principal.

As the saga rumbled on, Marko informed the media he was facing a potential suspension into the leaked email only to quash that 24 hours later when he told Sky Deutschland ahead of qualifying in Jeddah that he would stay on at Red Bull, having met with the company’s higher-ups.

But while rivals have not been able to capitalise on Red Bull’s tension on the track, Verstappen winning two from two, off the track, rumours continue to link key Red Bull personnel to other teams.

Verstappen’s name has been mentioned on that list, linked to Mercedes who have made it clear they’d be happy to sign the triple World Champion.

“It will be a decision that is up to him to say, ‘Is it an environment that I’d like to change and if yes, where do I want to go?'” Toto Wolff said as recently as Australia.

Marko says he “understands that” as any would want to sign Verstappen.

But with Wolff adding that the “trigger for him maybe thinking about other options is because they have some wobbles going through their team”, the Red Bull motorsport advisor told Sky: “Thank God it’s calming down a bit. It’s finally getting back to business as usual.”

He believes as long as Red Bull continue to give Verstappen a race-winning car, he’ll stick around through to 2028 when his current contract expires.

“In general I would say yes, but after this year in which so much has already happened…,” he said when asked about the driver’s future with Red Bull. “As long as we can offer him a competitive car, I think I think his future is not an issue.”

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As for his part, Verstappen was asked in Melbourne if he intends honouring his Red Bull deal through its conclusion in 2028.

“That’s why I signed the deal in the first place,” he said.

“And what I said before also, I’m happy within the team and, of course, it’s very important that we try to keep the key players in the team for a longer period of time because that’s what goes with the performances as well.

“At the end of the day, it’s a performance business. It’s the same as if I wouldn’t perform, I wouldn’t be sitting here, so I know how that works.

“But yeah, for sure, with the deal in place, that is also my intention for sure, to be here until the end because, of course, it would be a great story for me personally also, if you just see it out to the end because it means that I’ve been part of one family and one team.”

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