Max Verstappen jumps to Helmut Marko’s defence

The issue arose after a female team member accused Horner of "inappropriate behaviour," leading to her suspension.

Max Verstappen defended Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko against reports suggesting Marko might be suspended following the Christian Horner controversy.

Verstappen, after securing pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, emphasized the significance of Marko’s role within the team.

“From my side, I have a lot of respect for Helmut, and what we have achieved together,” Verstappen expressed.

He highlighted his deep respect and loyalty towards Marko, underscoring Marko’s critical influence on his decisions regarding his future with the team.

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Verstappen firmly stated, “It is very important that he stays within the team, including of course everybody else, because it is a team effort and it is very important that we keep the key people together.

“I feel like if such an important pillar falls away, that is not good for my situation as well. For me, Helmut has to stay.”

Marko had earlier disclosed to ORF about the potential for his suspension, hinting it could be related to suspicions of him leaking information about Red Bull’s inquiry into Horner’s behavior.

Marko remarked on the complexity of the situation and emphasized the team’s need for unity amid the demanding F1 season.

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The issue arose after a female team member accused Horner of “inappropriate behaviour,” leading to her suspension.

Horner denied the allegations and was cleared by an independent investigation. He urged to move forward, stating, “A grievance was raised, fully investigated and it was dismissed. We move onwards.”

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This incident adds layers to the internal dynamics at Red Bull, with Verstappen lauding Marko’s foundational role and loyalty to the team.

Verstappen emphasized the importance of Marko’s presence, “He built this team together with Dietrich (Mateschitz) from day one and he’s always been very loyal to the team and to everyone within the team to make sure that everyone would keep their positions from back in the day.”

Verstappen’s steadfast support for Marko highlights the intricate relationships within Red Bull, reflecting both personal loyalty and the pragmatic considerations of maintaining a successful Formula 1 team.