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If Helmut Marko is no longer part of the team, Max Verstappen could potentially depart from Red Bull.
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If Helmut Marko is no longer part of the team, Max Verstappen could potentially depart from Red Bull.

The buzz and mystery surrounding Red Bull Racing intensified as reigning champion Max Verstappen hinted at the possibility of leaving the F1 team if advisor Helmut Marko was let go from his position.

According to reports, Marko, who played a key role in recruiting Verstappen to the Red Bull team, mentioned on Friday that he may face suspension from his position with Red Bull following the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix this weekend.

After securing the pole position for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Verstappen shared his thoughts on the news. He expressed his deep respect for Helmut and their successful partnership, which holds great significance for him. Verstappen made it clear to his team and higher-ups that Helmut plays a crucial role in his future decision making, showcasing his loyalty towards him.

That he remains is crucial. I believe that losing an essential support system, as I’ve expressed to the team, would also negatively impact my own situation.

The Dutch team member, who has previously shown mixed opinions about supporting Christian Horner, made his support for Marko clear. He emphasized the importance of giving credit and respect for Marko’s accomplishments and stressed the significance of loyalty and integrity in keeping him as part of the team.

After less than 24 hours of the female employee lodging complaints of misconduct against Horner, the grievances were disregarded following an external inquiry. She was then placed on suspension from her position, and Marko stated in an interview on Austrian TV that he may not be able to participate in the upcoming race in Australia.

Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko talks with Christian Horner and Max VerstappenView image in fullscreen

Motorsport.com reported that when asked about the possibility of a suspension being imposed Marko said: “I’ll put it this way, it’s difficult to judge, or let’s put it this way, ultimately, I’ll decide for myself what I do. The theoretical possibility always exists.

“I believe this is a very intricate matter. Our priority is to maintain harmony within the team. With 24 races, the upcoming world championship will already be challenging, so our focus should be on that.”

Marko is suspected of being investigated and could potentially be punished for sharing information with the media during the investigation into Horner. Red Bull Racing has not commented despite requests for a statement.

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According to reports, Marko, who is 80 years old, has not been suspended yet and the situation is being dealt with by Red Bull’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH. The investigation into Horner was initiated by Red Bull GmbH, who is the employer of Marko, not Red Bull Racing.

Last week on Thursday, the paddock was in disbelief when an email was leaked to senior team members, the FIA, F1, and the media claiming to contain messages from Horner to the female complainant. This came a day after an investigation had dismissed the grievance against Horner.

It has been proposed that Verstappen’s contract includes an exit provision that would allow him to depart from the team in the event that Marko is no longer employed by Red Bull.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about Verstappen potentially joining Mercedes to replace Lewis Hamilton, who will be leaving for Ferrari at the end of the season.

Source: theguardian.com