Toto Wolff weighs in on Helmut Marko saga as doubt cast over Red Bull future

Jamie Woodhouse
Toto Wolff and Helmut Marko talking in Bahrain.

Toto Wolff and Helmut Marko talking.

With Helmut Marko hinting that his time at Red Bull could be up, Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said that would “definitely be a setback” for Red Bull Racing.

Marko, who has served as Red Bull Racing’s senior advisor and driver programme boss since they joined the grid in 2005, has plunged his future with the team into doubt shortly after their three-time World Champion Max Verstappen claimed a comfortable pole position at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Toto Wolff feels Helmut Marko exit would hit Red Bull hard

It has been a turbulent time for Red Bull Racing off the track recently, with Marko now potentially at the centre of a further twist after confirming that he will meet with Red Bull GmbH on Saturday in a bid to determine whether he has a future with the company.

PlanetF1.com understands an internal investigation is underway at Red Bull GmbH – of whom Marko is an employee and not of Red Bull Racing – due to the various leaks of information made to the media since the beginning of the separate internal investigation into Christian Horner.

This includes an investigation into the email leak of alleged information that was sent last week to hundreds of senior F1 personnel, including the media, which set out to humiliate Horner – coming just 24 hours after Red Bull GmbH ended their investigation into the F1 team boss.

Speaking to Sky Germany, Marko said: “There are so many rumours. I don’t really want to say anything about it. There’s so much speculation going around.

“I have another meeting tomorrow and then we’ll see. But everything has to be right for me to want to continue working here.”

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Marko’s counterpart at Mercedes and fellow Austrian Wolff has also cast his verdict on the situation, warning it will be a “setback” for Red Bull Racing should Marko call it quits.

Wolff highlighted Marko’s “huge contribution” to Formula 1’s current dominant team and eye for young talent as the driver programme boss, with Verstappen, the all-conquering force of F1, proving a key success story.

“Helmut was never a child of sadness. He was my ‘favourite enemy’ here,” Wolff told Sky Germany. “He was a real racer. He certainly made a huge contribution to the team’s performance over the years.

“Verstappen and the young drivers all come from him, that’s his nose for the young drivers. It would definitely be a setback for the team if Helmut were to leave.”

Verstappen lapped three-tenths faster than closest challenger, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, to take pole in Saudi Arabia as he chases a ninth consecutive grands prix win.

Read more: Max Verstappen delivers clear Red Bull warning with Helmut Marko future in doubt