Ex RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff is not really popular at Oracle Red Bull Racing it seems. Team boss Christian Horner was disappointed by the German’s lack of interest in Formula 1 racing and motorsport advisor Helmut Marko does not get on well with Mintzlaff. Big changes are afoot with Helmut Marko set to leave the Red Bull family and quit.
As Marko revealed to Red Bull’s own Speedweek publication, he has only “met with him twice so far. He got insights…
“How far he will listen to our ideas, we will see. Red Bull Racing has always been very independent.”
For 79-year-old Red Bull Motorsport Advisor Dr Helmut Marko, it’s been an emotional six months. Max Verstappen secured his second WRC title in Japan. At the end of October, longtime owner and friend to the team Dietrich Mateschitz, who turned Red Bull into a global brand, died. Red Bull Racing won the Constructors’ Cup for the first time since 2013.
Future of the F1 operation in question
After the former CEO’s death, current boss Mintzlaff is said to have been given the post at the request of the company’s founder Dietrich Mateschitz, who died on the 22th of October. Mateschitz created a broad-based corporate empire with the Red Bull brand. In October he succumbed to cancer.
As for Red Bull Racing in Milton Keynes, the team of current champion Max Verstappen, team boss Christan Horner and chief designer Adrian Newey have no ownership in Red Bull F1.
Horner and Newey had been given a free hand by Mateschitz to run the Red Bull F1 team autonomously. Whether this will continue in the future is now up in the air. The new appointment in Mintzlaff could mean this arrangement will now change.
What kind of provisions Dietricht Mateschitz has made for the Red Bull F1 racing outfits future is uncertain.
Big changes afoot
Marko’s usual telephone report to the previous Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz immediately after the race is a thing of the past.
“It is no longer the case that I report by phone after every practice and race. The direct, personal and friendly relationship is no longer there. Didi was a visionary, had emotions.
“I don’t see that anymore.” he told Speedweek on Thursday.
Harsh words from the Styrian, who for the first time also hinted at a possible departure. He had no contract with Mateschitz, but always worked on a handshake basis.
“I am a free person. I can quit at any time if I am no longer happy. Let’s see how the future turns out.”
Marko set to quit
At the grand age of 79, it is not a big surprise to hear such statements when a seismic shift such as Mateschitz’s decline occurs. Indeed it has been thought that Marko has been looking to leave work and finally retire for some years now, and sources close to the team expect this to happen this year.