Helmut Marko breaks silence on Christian Horner trying to fire him

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is trying to push Helmut Marko out of the team, amid an internal power struggle.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has quashed rumours that team principal Christian Horner is trying to axe him from the team, with the 80-year-old revealing that he’s contracted until the end of 2024.

It was reported over the weekend that Horner is keen to get rid of Marko and was in favour of Yuki Tsunoda being replaced at AlphaTauri next season, only for engine supplier Honda to insist that the Japanese driver is retained.

Since becoming Red Bull team principal when the side joined Formula 1 back in 2005, Marko has been alongside him, with the duo having formed a bit of a power couple.

However, it’s been suggested by ex-F1 driver Ralf Schumacher that the pair have a complicated relationship, which appears to have not been helped by the death last year of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz.

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Mateschitz sadly passed during last season’s United States Grand Prix, the event the sport is heading to this weekend.

It was reported that a meeting between Red Bull’s board of directors was scheduled to take place this week to discuss Marko’s position in the team, although he’s insisted that this isn’t true.

Marko has stressed that it’s ultimately down to him when he either retires or quits Red Bull and certainly not a decision that Horner can make.

“There is no meeting this week. I have a contract until the end of next year. When and how I stop, when it is over, I decide and not, for example, Mr Horner,” Marko told OE24.

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Horner is rumoured to be wanting more power over Red Bull’s F1 operations, with him already being involved in conversations regarding AlphaTauri’s drivers and directors.

According to Marko, Mateschitz’s death has caused a power struggle between himself and Horner, with everybody “trying to redefine their power”.

“Because of the new set-up (after the death of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz a year ago), everything is different. People are trying to redefine their power,” Marko revealed.

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One person in favour of Marko staying put, according to Schumacher, is three-time World Champion Max Verstappen, who has worked closely with Marko.

Marko is pleased to hear the “very reassuring” news that his “special bond” with the Dutchman remains intact, having first met when the driver was just 15 years old.

“On the one hand, that is very reassuring, there is still such a thing as loyalty and appreciation. Since our first conversation when Max was 15, a special bond has developed between us.

“Now I am looking forward to Austin, where we can hopefully celebrate his 50th Grand Prix victory on Sunday.”