Helmut Marko’s future as a Red Bull boss is in doubt as top executives of the energy drink company are pushing for changes to the current leadership structure.
Red Bull’s motorsport advisor, Helmut Marko is reportedly hitting a breaking point in his relationship with energy drink behemoth Red Bull, as senior executives push for his ouster.
Long seen as a pillar of the Red Bull leadership, Marko’s future has been clouded by the shifting dynamics that have arisen since Dietrich Mateschitz, the company’s founder, passed away.
Helmut Marko was close with Dietrich Mateschitz, the man who founded the energy drink company. However, Mateschitz passed away last year, and it has been claimed that the current leadership of Red Bull and its Formula 1 team wants Marko to step down, maybe before the coming race in Texas.
Notably, the Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, and sporting CEO Oliver Mintzlaff are among those who have called for a leadership change.
The tensions within the company became worse by the recent controversial incident surrounding Marko, which resulted from his use of negative and xenophobic terms to criticize Red Bull driver Sergio Perez.
“Let’s remember that [Perez] is South American and so he is not as focused as Max Verstappen or Sebastian Vettel was,” Marko said of the six-time race winner during a television interview last month.
Although Marko was forced to apologize, his actions brought a lot of attention to his part.
When Horner was questioned about Marko’s comments, he was very clear to state that Marko is not truly a member of Red Bull Racing but rather a consultant for the organization’s parent business, Red Bull GmbH. This creates a special power dynamic.
“He’s not an employee,” said Horner. “He’s not on the payroll of Red Bull Racing.”
According to Brazilian news source Globo, Marko’s fate will be determined at a meeting this week. The management of Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri, which has long been Marko’s domain, has received Christian Horner’s attention as team principal and CEO of Red Bull Racing.
It has been reported that Horner wants to move on from the squad’s driver Yuki Tsunoda, which would cost the team $10 million from Honda and could sour ties between the two companies. Horner was intimately involved in the appointment of AlphaTauri’s new CEO and team principal.
It appears that Horner wants more authority over the Red Bull F1 team and AlphaTauri, without Marko’s participation. But Horner isn’t the only one. According to reports, Oliver Mintzlaff, a new Red Bull executive, is also against Marko.
It has been reported that Marko’s fate will be decided at the meeting later this week prior to the upcoming race at Circuit of the Americas in Texas, but things don’t seem promising for the 80-year-old Austrian.
In addition to the issue appearing like Red Bull’s management wants him gone, his remarks have drawn criticism from the general public.