Max Verstappen has addressed the rumours that Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is trying to oust advisor Helmut Marko, with the Dutchman having insisted that it’s all “BS”.
Ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, it was reported that Horner is trying to get rid of Marko and that a Red Bull board meeting had been scheduled to take place this week to discuss the 80-year-old’s future.
This has been slammed as a complete lie by Marko himself, who has revealed that not only is he contracted until the end of 2024 but that no meeting has been scheduled.
He also stressed that only he would decide when it’s his time to leave, not Horner.
“There is no summit, 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.
Horner has also quashed the rumours and noted that Marko remains a “very valuable” member of the Milton Keynes-based team.
The Red Bull boss has stressed that his relationship with the Austrian remains “very strong”, with him having “absolutely no intent or desire” to try and oust Marko.
“We’ve always enjoyed a very strong and open relationship. Of course, there are things that we disagree on now and again, but I think that’s healthy,” Horner told Mirror Sport.
“We speak very regularly about all aspects. For Helmut, it’s slightly different to how it used to be since the passing of his friend and colleague Dietrich, but he still has a very valuable role that he plays within the team and there is absolutely no intent or desire from me, or anyone within the team, to see that change.
“For as long as he wants to continue – he’s still a very spritely 80-year-old – I don’t see any change in the way that we work.”
When the report was made, it was rumoured that Verstappen had jumped to the defence of Marko and informed Red Bull that he would follow the advisor out of the exit door if he were to be ousted.
It was even suggested that the three-time World Champion would prefer it if Horner departed.
However, ahead of this weekend, the 26-year-old has labelled it all as people talking “BS”.
“From the outside, people are basically trying to talk BS,” Verstappen insisted.
“The mood in the team is very good and everyone knows exactly what their role is and of course, it was sad times last year when Dietrich passed away.
“But we have tried to keep that legacy, keep it moving forward and everyone that we have right now in the team is important to the success that we are having. That is why there are no changes for the future, and I think that basically explains it.”