Marko denies Mateschitz threat to pull Red Bull out of F1

Dietrich Mateschitz (AUT) CEO and Founder of Red Bull. Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday 4 August 2007. BEST IMAGE

Dietrich Mateschitz

Helmut Marko has rubbished reports Red Bull could quit Formula 1 over the Multi-21 team orders affair.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, owner Dietrich Mateschitz was furious when Sebastian Vettel ignored his bosses orders in Malaysia, triggering Mark Webber’s anger and a slew of negative publicity.

Billionaire Mateschitz reportedly told the Milton-Keynes based team that a repeat of the team orders mess could result in him pulling the plug on Formula 1 altogether.

“Nonsense. There’s nothing to it,” Mateschitz’s right hand man Marko told Bild newspaper.

Nonetheless, the affair dubbed ‘Multi-21′ continues to cause headaches for Red Bull.

A photo of Webber dining with Red Bull’s arch-enemy Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso in Dubai was posted on the drivers’ Twitter feeds, triggering another wave of rumours.

Marko said: “It’s nice that there are at least two friends in Formula 1.”

Pedro de la Rosa, a Ferrari test driver, suggested the entire saga is a storm in a teacup, playing down suggestions Webber could quit Red Bull sooner rather than later.

“No,” the Spaniard told Marca sports newspaper. “How are you going to leave a team that is giving you a great car like that one?”

De la Rosa rubbished the conspiracy theory about Red Bull sabotaging Webber’s RB9 in China last weekend.

“There is no sabotage,” he insisted. “His teammate didn’t follow a team order. He (Vettel) apologised. The fuel (situation in qualifying in China) was a mistake, and it’s happened elsewhere before.”

“I would like to be in his (Webber)’s skin. I don’t see the controversy. It would be a problem if he wasn’t in a position to win races,” he added.