Red Bull drama takes another twist as Helmut Marko faces investigation

Red Bull drama takes another twist as Helmut Marko faces investigation

According to reports, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko is the subject of an investigation by the team and may face suspension if found guilty.

Red Bull racing advisor Helmut Marko has been reported to be the subject of an investigation for possible media leaks, adding to the tension surrounding the Milton Keynes outfit.

The backdrop of Red Bull Racing’s off-track drama has taken an unexpected turn now that Marko, who has led their driver development and been a key advisor since they first took the grid in 2005, may not be around for long.

Now, Motorsport.com reports that Red Bull GmbH has launched a second internal investigation into Helmut Marko’s actions, focusing on leaks linked to the initial investigation into Horner’s conduct.

This includes a probe into the purported material that was leaked from an anonymous email last week to hundreds of senior Formula 1 staff members as well as the media, with the intention of defaming Horner.

Although it’s unclear if Marko breached the team’s code of conduct, disciplinary action might be taken if the investigation determines that he was responsible for disclosing confidential information.

Marko told Austrian media ORF that there was a “theoretical possibility” that he would be suspended by Red Bull and would miss the Australian Grand Prix, which takes after the current round in Saudi Arabia, sparking a lot of speculation.

“I’ll put it this way, it’s difficult to judge, or let’s put it this way, ultimately, I’ll decide for myself what I do,” Marko said. “The theoretical possibility always exists. I think it’s such a complex issue.

“Again, we want peace in the team. This world championship will be difficult enough with 24 races and we have to concentrate on that.”

Furthermore, Marko disclosed that Red Bull’s engine partner Honda was requesting clarification on the current situation.

“That’s internal, but they want a clear statement about what really happened,” added the 80-year-old Red Bull motorsport advisor. “The most important thing is that we get back to the sporting side of things, and that the team concentrates on what is important.

“That’s working quite well at the moment.”

The new development in the controversy surrounding team boss Christian Horner comes only a day after it came to light that the female Red Bull Racing employee at the heart of the allegations against Horner had been suspended.

In the lead-up to the Bahrain Grand Prix last week, Red Bull’s independent investigation cleared Horner of any wrongdoing. However, a day later senior F1 officials as well as the media received leaked copies of purported messages between Horner and the female colleague.

Although Horner has vehemently refuted the allegations, Max Verstappen’s father Jos accused Horner of “playing the victim” and demanded that he should take responsibility.

Three-time world champion Max Verstappen, who secured pole position for this Saturday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, might be free to leave the team at any moment if Marko decides to do so, according to a prior report from F1-Insider.

However, the existence of any clause has not yet been verified, and when questioned about the situation, Marko declined to comment. The current Verstappen deal expires after 2028.

“Max is certainly the strongest asset that the team has,” Marko said. “There is no faster driver at the moment and if we were to lose him, it would be an incredible loss, because of course there are also an incredible number of mechanics, including engineers, who are all working incredibly hard for Max.

“I think it’s quite logical and clear that Max is the most important part of the team.”

After reports emerged surrounding Marko, meanwhile, Verstappen stated to Sky Germany: “If Helmut Marko leaves, we will have a really big problem at Red Bull.”

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