Freshly crowned F1 champion Max Verstappen believed to back Helmut Marko in Red Bull power struggle

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Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull Racing might currently be the most dominant team in Formula 1 history, but not everything is right at the Austrian outfit. As we wrote yesterday, there seems to be a power struggle going on between the team two most senior members, with principal Christain Horner looking to increase his power over sister team AlphaTauri at the expense of advisor Dr. Helmut Marko.

According to Horner hoped to seize absolute power within the team after Red Bull co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz passed away last year. However, Marko is still very much in favour by Mateschitz’s successor Oliver Mintzlaff. The former head of football club RB Leipzig was promoted per Mateschitz’s will.

It is believed that Horner has gained the full confidence of the Thai majority owner Chalerm Yoovidhya, and with this support Horner aimed to attract former Mercedes F1 press officer Bradley Lord to replace retiring AlphaTauri principal Franz Tost.

This plan failed to come to fruition and Horner’s next option, former FIA employee Peter Bayer, had already been in contact with Helmut Marko, who refused to give Bayer the sole responsibility over AlpaTauri. As a result Laurent Mekies was brought on board to handle the sporting part of the team principal role, whereas Bayer will cover the marketing and organisational duties.

Horner then allegedly leaked some rumours to the British press that Marko’s position was uncertain as he no longer had the confidence of the Thai owners and new management. The 49 year old team boss denies any involvement in these rumours, which were also discredited by Marko.

“There has been a lot of speculation in the press lately, which shouldn’t be taken seriously. We will stay calm and think about our core business, which is sports and not politics,” Marko told “We still want to secure second place with Sergio Pérez. This lies in his own hands, as we provide him with the car to do so.”

The 80-year-old advisor supposedly had a meeting with Mintzlaff, during which Horner’s position was discussed and he himself was reassured he had Mintzlaff’s full confidence.

“About me, I have a contract with Red Bull until the end of next year, and we will see what happens after that. But it’s up to me if and how this is continued.

“I have received a lot of support recently and that makes me happy.”

Part of that support comes from three-time World Champion Max Verstappen, who is rumoured to have had personal meetings with both Yoovidhya and Mintzlaff in which he unequivocally expressed his support for Marko, stating that if the Austrian has to go he goes as well.