Updated: Marko’s urgent call for closure: The F1 power struggle rocking Red Bull

Dr. Helmut Marko is looking for a swift end to the ongoing management crisis at Red Bull, centered around team boss Christian Horner, whose career teeters due to allegations from a female staff member amid a rumoured wider power struggle. Despite the turmoil, Horner has proceeded to Bahrain for the upcoming pre-season test, and will appear alongside other team bosses at an official press conference on Thursday.

Marko, implicated in a speculated power struggle with Horner, sought to minimize the saga’s impact. “Luckily the car was already built and we are ready,” he told Osterreich newspaper.

Further elaborating on the situation to Servus TV, Marko expressed his desire for a quick resolution. “As you know, this is an internal investigation. The sooner a result is available the better, because obviously rumours and other stories are bound to crop up due to the long duration,” Marko stated, acknowledging the inevitable speculation that comes with prolonged uncertainty. He praised Red Bull’s handling of the matter, emphasizing the aim for fairness. “The long duration is not their fault – they are trying to conduct a fair process and act accordingly,” Marko added.

The drama also touches on Max Verstappen’s camp, particularly his father Jos, amidst earlier rumors of Marko’s potential exit. Verstappen, however, voiced support for Marko at the time, stating now to motorsport-magazin.com, “Because he’s important for the team.” This sentiment underscores Marko’s significance within the Red Bull ecosystem, even as Horner’s support appears to wane, hinted at by Horner’s wife Geri apparently briefly ‘unfollowing’ Max on social media in the past days.

The complexity of Red Bull’s situation is magnified by statements from Ford, their 2026 engine partner, signaling the potential repercussions of the crisis, with La Gazzetta dello Sport suggesting Ford could withdraw from the contract if desired.

Frans Verschuur, Jos Verstappen’s former manager, offers a nuanced view on Horner’s fate, indicating the issue might remain internal unless the FIA finds it detrimental to the sport. “As long as the FIA doesn’t interfere and it isn’t bad for the sport, it is an internal matter at Red Bull,” he commented on the F1 Aan Tafel podcast, suggesting the possibility of Horner retaining his position unless external pressures dictate otherwise.

The scandal’s public exposure, driven by reports from De Telegraaf, a Dutch outlet closely linked to the Verstappen camp, has revealed underlying tensions within Red Bull, potentially exacerbated by internal divisions following Dietrich Mateschitz’s death. Verschuur’s insights hint at a split within Red Bull, pitting the Thai ownership against Austrian interests, with each side having different allegiances.

“De Telegraaf fantasises a lot, of course,” Verschuur said. “But it’s a bit of a split. They can’t all go through the same door. But as long as he (Horner) hasn’t killed anyone. Did he once scold someone and sent them a message?

“Although even if Horner has to leave, it means nothing for Max. Everyone is ultimately replaceable.”

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