Red Bull's longtime consultant and former racing driver Helmut Marko was close with the energy drink company's founder Dietrich Mateschitz. However, Mateschitz died last year, and the remaining leadership, both at Red Bull and its Formula 1 team, reportedly wants the 80-year-old Marko gone, perhaps as soon as before the next race of the season.
According to Brazilian outlet Globo, a meeting will be held this week that will determine Marko's fate. Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing's team principal and CEO, has been more involved with running Red Bull's sister team AlphaTauri, which has long been Marko's bag. Horner was directly involved with the hiring of AlphaTauri's new CEO and team principal and he's said to want to move on from the team's driver Yuki Tsunoda, which would lose the team $10 million from Honda and potentially hurt the relationship between both brands.
It seems Horner wants more control of the Red Bull F1 team, as well as more say in AlphaTauri, without Marko's input. However, it isn't just Horner. Marko is said to also face opposition from new Red Bull executive Oliver Mintzlaff.
Marko certainly did not help his case recently when he made racist comments about Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez. "Let’s remember that [Perez] is South American and so he is not as focused as Max Verstappen or Sebastian Vettel was," Marko said of the six-time race winner during a television interview last month.
While Marko has since apologized, the damage was done. When Horner was asked about Marko's remarks, he made it very clear that Marko isn't actually part of Red Bull Racing, but rather a consultant for its parent company, Red Bull GmbH. "He's not an employee. He's not on the payroll of Red Bull Racing," said Horner.
The meeting later this week ahead of the next round at Circuit of the Americas in Texas will supposedly determine Marko's fate, but it doesn't look good for the 80-year-old Austrian. Not only does it seem that the leadership at Red Bull wants him out, but he's also facing public backlash over his comments.
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