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Marko: I won’t stand in Max’s way if he decides to leave

04/03/2024

Rising tensions at Red Bull reveal a deepening rift, pitting Christian Horner against key figures within the team, including the Verstappens and Helmut Marko.

Jos Verstappen’s statements, which assert unequivocally that Christian Horner’s position is untenable under the risk of implosion, have ignited tensions.

Two factions are now established: Christian Horner with Red Bull’s Thai shareholders, owning 51%, against the group formed by the Verstappens, Helmut Marko, Adrian Newey, and the Mateschitz family, who own 49% of Red Bull.

Red Bull Turmoil

There’s no longer any doubt about the rumors of internal strife, and it was revealed that Oliver Mintzlaff, the CEO in charge of sports at Red Bull, wanted to announce as early as February 2nd the stepping back of Christian Horner “for health reasons”. This was thwarted by the Thais and Horner himself through an internal investigation that concluded in favor of the Brit, despite overwhelming evidence.

It remains unclear whether the evidence circulated in the Bahrain paddock is authentic, but Horner has refused to deny or even comment on it.

In today’s developments, it was confirmed that Max Verstappen could leave Red Bull and join Mercedes if an exit clause in his contract were activated. He would be free to leave if Helmut Marko were forced out, which could happen if the Thais continue to back Horner.

When asked about this by F1-Insider, Marko indirectly confirmed: “The internal investigations are complete. I will say no more. As far as I’m concerned: I won’t stand in Max’s way if he decides to leave.”

Red Bull Shake-Up

F1-Insider also sought the perspective of Gerhard Berger, who spent the weekend with Red Bull in Bahrain. According to him, due to the deadlock caused by the Thai stance at Red Bull: “For now: Horner stays, Helmut Marko and Adrian Newey resign, and Max goes to Mercedes.”

Mercedes-Verstappen Talks

Secret meetings also took place between Mercedes F1 and the Verstappens at the Four Seasons hotel throughout the weekend.

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