Dr Helmut Marko insists his relationship with new Red Bull CEO Oliver Mintzlaff is “on the right track”.
However, the 79-year-old Austrian warned recently that could quit his top position in Red Bull’s Formula 1 program at any time in the wake of his friend Dietrich Mateschitz’s death.
Red Bull founder Mateschitz died late last year, and the latest rumblings about the energy drink company’s status in F1 – the dominance of the senior team aside – is that Alpha Tauri may be in trouble.
All sides are denying that the team will be offloaded, but it is clear that the Faenza based team is under immense pressure to improve – both financially and competitively.
Team boss Franz Tost seems to fully acknowledge the problem.
“We expected a much better car,” he said in Jeddah.
“There are different programs going on, but the engineers tell me that we make some good progress – but I don’t trust them anymore.
“During the winter months, they told me the car is fantastic, we’re making big progress, and then we come to Bahrain and we are nowhere. What should I say?” the Austrian added.
“I just want to see the laptime, because this is the only thing that counts.”
Some believe that while Red Bull Racing is riding high with Max Verstappen’s dominance, cracks have emerged as Marko gets to know his new 47-year-old boss Mintzlaff.
“We’ve already had several meetings,” Marko told Krone newspaper.
“There is really a good relationship. You just can’t compare three months with 30 years – it’s a different relationship than with Mateschitz.
“But it is a cooperation that is on the right track. There is a clear commitment to Formula 1 from both sides.”