Red Bull chief Helmut Marko hints at exit due to ‘complex issue’

Hamilton certain Red Bull's fate is sealed after what F1 rival Verstappen did

Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has left the door open for his departure when his contract expires at the end of the 2024 season. But Max Verstappen is among the names who have played down suggestions that Marko could soon leave Red Bull after their dominant year on the track.

The 80-year-old handed Verstappen his chance in F1, setting him on the path to becoming one of the sport’s greatest-ever drivers.

Verstappen has won three consecutive Drivers’ Championships since 2021 and recorded one of the most dominant campaigns of all time this year.

He will credit Marko for plenty of his success but could face losing the Red Bull chief’s influence in the coming years.

The Austrian has been the subject of links to a departure from his role within Red Bull and AlphaTauri.

And he fuelled the speculation by recently admitting he is unsure where his future lies beyond his current deal.

“There are different trends and variants. The decisions are still open, including what I will do after this. My current contract runs until the end of 2024,” Marko said.

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“This is a complex issue. Of course, I also have an obligation to Red Bull and Max. Still, the total package has to be right. Nothing has been decided yet.”

Verstappen previously shut down talk of Marko’s departure, stressing the importance of Red Bull keeping their core team together for the best chance of continuing their status as top dogs on the grid.

When asked if team principal Christian Horner or Marko leaving Red Bull would raise doubts over his future, Verstappen told Sky Sports F1: “That’s why they are not leaving.

“Everyone is staying in exactly the same role. That has never really been a discussion. It’s very important when you are doing well, and the team are doing very well, that you keep those people that are very important to the success of the team.

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“Everyone knows that. From our side, it has always been super clear. I don’t know why people outside the team were trying to doubt that. From our side, it’s always been clear that it has to stay that way.”

Former F1 star Ralf Schumacher has echoed Verstappen’s dismissive attitude towards the prospect of Marko walking away from Red Bull next year.

“Red Bull certainly still needs Helmut Marko. I can also imagine that Verstappen will not allow Marko to leave,” Schumacher explained.

“He has already been very clear about that. As long as he drives there, not much will change.”

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