F1 rumours: Christian Horner wants Helmut Marko out in ‘political fight’ at Red Bull

Editor
Christian Horner and Helmut Marko

Christian Horner and Helmut Marko have both been at Red Bull since their first race.

Tension between Christian Horner and Helmut Marko is reportedly rising with a report suggesting that Horner is looking for a way to get rid of his long-time colleague.

The relationship between the two senior Red Bull figures stretches back 28 years when Horner was in need of a trailer for his Formula 3000 team. He headed to Austria where he met Marko, a deal was struck and 11 years later, they would join forces at Red Bull.

But that relationship has reportedly soured of late with Horner having to clarify Marko’s role after the latter made xenophobic and false comments about their own driver, Sergio Perez.

Atmosphere at Red Bull changed after founder Dietrich Mateschitz’s death

The Perez slander is not the first indiscretion of Marko but up until now, the 80-year-old Austrian has been near bulletproof within the Red Bull organisation. Seen as late owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s right hand man, Marko’s position in the team became a little less concrete when the Red Bull founder passed away last year.

With a new board in control of parent company Red Bull GmBH, Brazilian outlet Globo is reporting that Horner is looking for a way to get rid of Marko.

In a story co-written by former F1 driver Luciano Burti, Globo claims that there is a ‘political movement’ going on behind the scenes at Red Bull, a team that has been in ‘turmoil’ ever since the death of Mateschitz.

PlanetF1.com recommends

Revealed: Top 10 most expensive F1 cars ever to be sold at auction

F1 2024 driver line-up: Who is confirmed for next season’s grid?

In the wake of Marko’s Perez comments, Horner was forced to clarify that Marko was not an employee of the Red Bull Racing team and therefore not under his jurisdiction.

“His contract is with Red Bull GmbH,” Horner told the media following the race in Singapore. “He’s not an employee, he’s not on the payroll of Red Bull Racing.

“To be a director doesn’t mean that you are automatically an employee, as we see with other companies if you look at who the directorships are, so his reporting line and structure is to Red Bull GmbH so that doesn’t sit on our books.”

Read next: Seven eye-opening F1 2023 stats with surprise Sergio Perez fact revealed