Speculation swirls over Helmut Marko’s Red Bull role

Max Verstappen has addressed rumors of Helmut Marko's departure at Red Bull amid speculation over a shake-up at the team.

Fresh off his triumphant third world championship title at the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix, Max Verstappen found himself addressing speculation surrounding the potential removal of Helmut Marko from his consultancy role at Red Bull. 

While celebratory discussions dominated the prelude to the United States Grand Prix in Austin, the Dutchman also had to confront questions about a less positive topic.

Recently, Brazilian publication Globo reported that Marko, a long-serving figure at Red Bull, could face removal from his consultancy role due to alleged “tension” with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. 

The publication claimed that Horner had been attempting to displace Marko to gain greater control over the team’s Formula 1 operations. 

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Globo also suggested that Horner sought to sever ties with Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri.

In his typical straightforward fashion, Verstappen swiftly addressed the speculation during a press conference before on-track activities in Austin. 

He stated, “I saw that from the outside, people are trying to basically talk some BS because I think the mood in the team is very good. 

“Everyone knows exactly what their role is.”

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Verstappen then took a moment to reflect on the passing of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz, which occurred a year ago. 

He expressed the team’s commitment to preserving Mateschitz’s legacy and pushing forward.

Verstappen stated, “And of course, [there were] sad times last year when Dietrich passed away, but we’ve tried to keep that legacy, keep moving forward, and everyone that we have right now in the team is very important to that success that we’re having. 

“So that’s why there are also no changes for the future. 

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“I think that basically explains it. We try to keep that legacy, keep moving it forward, and everyone that we have right now is very important to that success we’re having, so that’s why there are also no changes for the future.”

Christian Horner, the Red Bull team principal, has also weighed in on the matter, making it clear that Helmut Marko’s position at Red Bull remains secure. 

Horner emphasised that Marko would remain with the team “for as long as he wants to continue.”