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Marko hints at cunning plan against him

Marko hints at “cunning” plan against him

Marko hints at cunning plan against him

Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s motorsport consultant hinted at a “cunning” plan against him in the aftermath being investigated for allegedly leaking material related to Christian Horner’s earlier investigation.

Over the course of the weekend of the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in Jeddah last week, it was revealed that Marko was being looked into as the sources of the leaks of material related to the investigation into Horner, the latter being accused of “inappropriate behavior” by a female colleague.

Horner was cleared by the internal investigation Red Bull conducted but soon texts and photos of the purported evidence were leaked via an anonymous email to almost 150 Formula 1 related personalities with teams, media, FIA and Formula One Management.

What followed was a series of events that saw Red Bull Racing in a state of turbulence and Max Verstappen’s father Jos called for Horner to step down threatening his son would leave the team otherwise.

Then came the news that the complainant against Horner was suspended, and while the situation seemed to calm down, new broke regarding Marko’s investigation and a potential suspension as a consequence, something Verstappen warned would push him to reconsider his future with the team.

That latest chapter of the story did not last long and the Austrian announced on the day of the race in Jeddah that he would remain in his role following talks with Red Bull GmbH managing director Oliver Mintzlaff.

Before the race last Saturday, and after being cleared, Marko was asked about the whole situation and told ORF: “Absolute rubbish. I’m really happy when I have my iPhone halfway under control.

“I haven’t seen this report [Horner report] or any of these chats [Horner leaked material]. I deliberately stayed out of it.

“To associate me with it was almost like a planned operation, as I realized. ‘Cunning’, as [Niki] Lauda would say,” Marko claimed.

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Horner insisted the Marko case had nothing to do with him or Red Bull racing, he said: “I think the rumour about suspension was as news to the team as it was to anybody else. We were quite surprised to hear that.

“Helmut is a contractor to Red Bull GmbH, so it was an issue between them. We weren’t party or part of that discussion.

“I’ve known Helmut since 1996, and he’s played an important role over the years. That role has evolved over the years. I’ve known him a very, very long time.

“Coming up to 81 years of age, he’s still obviously motivated about Formula 1, which is a positive thing,” Horner maintained.

The Red Bull Racing boss was quizzed whether Verstappen’s threats to leave the team influenced the Marko decision, he responded: “There has been no decision-making process around Helmut, so I am not quite sure where the rumour has permeated from. But it is not something I’ve been involved in.”

“My relationship with Helmut is no issue. I think that he’s always outspoken, but that’s Helmut,” added Horner when asked whether there would be any issues moving forward.

“Everybody has a role to play no matter what that role is. I think this team has been incredibly successful, and it has had tremendous ability for a long period of time. That has been one of the keys to our success,” he concluded.

Horner has recently hints that Verstappen leaving Red Bull Racing would not be the end of the world, but the developments the reigning F1 World Champions squad have left more questions unanswered than answered.

Maybe years down the line when the related individuals write their memoirs, we will finally find out what really went down, and maybe not…