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Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has insisted that the team’s advisor Helmut Marko has a job “as long as he wants to continue” despite recent reports suggesting that tension between the pair is rising amid ‘political unrest’ at Red Bull. Horner and Marko have been working together for decades, having grown the team into a F1 juggernaut, but the 80-year-old’s position had been in question.
Brazilian outlet Globo reported that Horner was looking for a way to get rid of Marko as their battle for power grew following the death of Red Bull co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz. It was claimed that a meeting was scheduled to discuss Marko’s future, but the team principal has insisted that he is not pushing his colleague out of the door.
“Without Helmut, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today,” Horner told the Mirror as he explained their relationship. “Like with the young drivers that he has given an opportunity, he also gave me that opportunity. 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.
“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.
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“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. Roles evolve and the business has evolved so much since we first came into the sport. Operationally, I run this on a day-to-day basis. For any significant decisions, of course we confer, whether it be drivers or strategic calls. It’s a partnership that has worked for many, many years. Everybody has their role and function to play.”
Marko has already spoken publicly about his desire to remain in his current role as a senior advisor, as he continues to mourn the loss of his long-time business partner and friend Mateschitz. However, there does not appear to be a changing of the guard any time soon.
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“How we work is just the same, nothing has changed on the day-to-day basis of how we go racing,” Horner added. “The group is evolving without its leader but the company is in great health, great shape. We’re on course for another record year this year.
“Life goes on and we continue to operate with the values that Dietrich embodied and instilled within the team. What we’ve achieved is arguably our most successful year ever which is a culmination of what has been happening across all 22 departments in the business.
“They all have to be working in harmony, otherwise you can never achieve the sort of results that we have. And, of course, we’ve got an outstanding driver [Max Verstappen] who is an incredible talent.”
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