Helmut Marko reveals key contract detail amid axe rumours

Helmut Marko is adamant that only he will decide when it's time for him to depart Red Bull, amid rumours.

Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko has quashed rumours that he’s set to be sacked by the team at the end of the season, with him revealing that he’s contracted until the end of 2024.

It was recently reported that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is trying to get rid of the 80-year-old, who has partnered the Briton since the Milton Keynes-based outfit joined the Formula 1 grid in 2005.

Marko was in good spirits on Tuesday despite the speculation, with him having collected the Gerhard Hirschmann Prize for Critical Thinking in Graz.

After collecting the award, he was asked how he’s feeling ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, given the rumours circulating.

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“Good – contrary to many assumptions. I have to disappoint the doomsayers,” Marko told Osterreich newspaper.

It had been suggested that a Red Bull directors meeting had been scheduled for this week to discuss what to do with Marko, something the Austrian has also labelled as being fake.

He’s insistent that only he will decide when it’s time to leave Red Bull, rather than “Mr Horner”.

“There is no summit this week,” Marko said.

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“I have a contract until the end of next year. When and how I stop, when it’s over for me, I will decide. Not Mr Horner, for example.”

It does appear that Marko’s position is safe for now, with him having an incredibly important supporter.

It’s also been reported that Max Verstappen would be furious if Marko were to be sacked, with him preferring Horner to leave.

Marko has heard what Verstappen’s said has admitted that the Dutchman’s comments are “very reassuring”, with it showing their “special connection”.

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Verstappen first met Marko when he was just 15 years old, with Marko having been a huge supporter of his career.

“On the one hand that is very reassuring,” Marko admitted. “There is still something like loyalty and appreciation.

“Since our first conversation when Max was 15, there has been a special connection between us. Now I’m looking forward to Austin, where we can hopefully celebrate his 50th grand prix victory on Sunday.”