F1: Max Verstappen dismisses reports of Red Bull power struggle
AUSTIN, Texas–Triple Formula One world champion Max Verstappen dismissed reports of a power struggle between Red Bull team boss Christian Horner and motorsport consultant Helmut Marko on Thursday.
Media reports had suggested Horner wanted to oust the 80-year-old Austrian but that Verstappen had stepped in to make sure he stayed.
“I saw that from the outside people were trying to basically talk some BS,” the 26-year-old Dutch driver told reporters when asked about the situation ahead of the U.S. Grand Prix at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas.
“I think the mood in the team is very good. Everyone knows exactly what their role is and of course it was sad times last year when (team founder) Dietrich (Mateschitz) passed away, but we try to keep that legacy, keep moving it forward.
“Everyone that we have right now in the team is very important to that success that we are having, so that’s why there are also no changes for the future. I think that basically explains it.”
Marko was a close friend of compatriot Mateschitz and instrumental in bringing Verstappen into the team as the youngest ever Formula One driver.
Horner told the Daily Mirror separately that Marko “still has a very valuable role that he plays within the team and there is absolutely no intent or desire from me, or anyone within the team, to see that change”.
“For as long as he wants to continue — he’s still a very sprightly 80-year-old — I don’t see any change in the way that we work,” he added.
Verstappen, who has won the last three championships and can celebrate his 50th Grand Prix win on Sunday, has a contract with Red Bull until the end of 2028.
Red Bull secured their sixth constructors’ title in Japan last month while Verstappen wrapped up the driver’s championship in Qatar two weekends ago with five rounds to spare.
Marko triggered a controversy last month when he blamed the fluctuating form of the team’s Mexican driver Sergio Perez on his ethnicity and the governing FIA gave him a written warning for his conduct.