Red Bull’s failed ‘Porsche’ deal billed as the catalyst for Horner, Marko off-track saga

Michelle Foster
Helmut Marko sitting down with Christian Horner.

Helmut Marko and Christian Horner

Ralf Schumacher believes Red Bull’s off-track troubles stem from the failed deal with Porsche that left a power vacuum after Dietrich Mateschitz’s passing.

Red Bull were back in the headlines in Saudi Arabia on Friday evening as the team’s parent company launched yet another internal investigation, this time relating to Helmut Marko.

‘There is someone in the middle who is causing everything here…’

Just over a week after the investigation of team boss Christian Horner was dismissed by Red Bull GmbH, Marko is now believed to be in the hot seat. understands the investigation relates to the various leaks of information made to the media since the beginning of the Christian Horner investigation, including the leaked email claiming to contain information relating to that.

Former F1 driver turned pundit Schumacher believes Red Bull are paying the price for a power vacuum that was created when Mateschitz passed away in 2022, just a month after Porsche’s planned 50 percent buyout of the F1 team collapsed.

“Who would have expected such a dynamic?” he told Sky Deutschland.

“You have to go back a little further. I know who expected it, but unfortunately they are no longer with us. That’s why Mateschitz was determined in his plan that Porsche would go in as a 50 per cent shareholder because he saw such a development coming.

“In that case, I think Dr. Helmut Marko is annoyed himself because he was there and could have done it that way. Then the situation wouldn’t be there today.

“Since then, the whole thing has drifted apart a bit.

“I don’t want to be in the team’s shoes if suddenly Max’s father Jos can’t come anymore and neither can Dr. Marko. I think that’s wrong and it’s time that all the parties get together.

“There is someone in the middle (Christian Horner, Sky Germany editor’s note) who is causing everything here because he wants to use all his might to keep everything under control. Nobody knows whether that is helpful.” recommends

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‘Why they are pushing this through with all their might?’

Red Bull, though, have been warned that any action against Marko could have huge consequences with triple World Champion Verstappen linking his future with the team to Marko’s.

“For me, Helmut is a very key factor in that and he has to stay for me, for sure,” he told Sky Sports on Friday evening. “I’ve always said that to the team, they know that.”

The 26-year-old has been widely linked to Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes race seat in recent days with Schumacher speaking about an escape clause in Verstappen’s contract that allows him to walk if Marko leaves Red Bull.

“Yes, that’s a fact. That’s what I heard and the sources are good,” said the German.

“I don’t know whether Verstappen is doing that. I think everyone is cutting into their own flesh here. You can see what’s happening here.

“But it’s much worse for all the employees behind it and also for the Red Bull brand.

“In this case, I don’t understand the Thai side and Christian Horner at all. Why they are pushing this through with all their might because: What do we owe to Didi Mateschitz?

“The fact that we are now reacting like this is wrong in my opinion.”

Read next: Max Verstappen: Red Bull know Helmut Marko must stay if I am to