Helmut Marko details meeting held with Red Bull chief Oliver Mintzlaff

Horner opens up on Red Bull's 'barren spell' amid Mercedes dominance

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Helmut Marko has quashed suggestions there is tension between himself and Red Bull chief Oliver Mintzlaff after reports emerged that the duo had a frosty relationship. Mintzlaff was named Dietrich Mateschitz’s successor after the Austrian passed away in October and is set to continue operating the Formula One team in the same way following a meeting with Marko. 

Mintzlaff is one of three men to take over Mateschitz’s duties with the German responsible for the ‘business projects and investments’ portfolio which includes the motorsport team. Reports had suggested the 47-year-old was set to restrict the relative autonomy previously enjoyed by Marko and team principal Christian Horner leading to speculation that the relationship between the trio was strained. 

However, Marko has now quelled these rumours after holding a meeting with the new boss. The 79-year-old has said the pair share the same ideas and would continue the team’s progress in the same direction. 

“We have the same basic idea and he has again inquired extensively about the team and is well-informed,” he told Kleine Zietung. “It is no secret that we are Red Bull’s flagship team. Red Bull Racing has been sensational for a long time in terms of numbers, success and marketing. So we quickly agreed that we wanted to continue the team in this successful direction.” 

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The meeting was the first time that Marko and Mintzlaff have met to discuss the future of Red Bull with previous discussions largely more informal. The German took no part in the team’s post-season celebrations in Abu Dhabi with his place in the set-up yet to be properly defined. 

Red Bull have enjoyed stability not seen by many of the other manufacturers in recent years with Horner the longest-serving team principal in Formula One having taken the reins in 2005. Marko’s history with the energy drink giant goes back even further having taken control of the driver development programme in 1999 while he also took on an advisory role at Red Bull in 2005. 

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The Austrian also has responsibilities with sister team AlphaTauri with their team principal Franz Tost holding the reins since 2006. Marko sees the lack of turnover within either team as the main reason for their success over the years. 

“Continuity is certainly a very important part of success, even if AlphaTauri’s performance was not satisfactory,” he said. “We are in the process of analyzing everything. You will see how we set the course for the future.”

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