Red Bull key man admits he could ‘quit overnight’

Christian Horner on Red Bull's success and hints at next step

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Red Bull chief Helmut Marko has admitted he could leave the team as he has “fulfilled his task”. Marko revealed it “wouldn’t be an issue” to walk away and suggested he could change his mind with a day’s notice.

Speaking to Laola 1, he explained: “I fulfilled my task because of my connection to Dietrich Mateschitz, a visionary who understood everything in the big picture. If the atmosphere doesn’t suit me anymore, then it won’t be an issue for me anymore.

“I can get off from today to tomorrow.” It could be a blow to Red Bull who have relied on Marko’s experience to bring through their most talented drivers to date.

Marko’s role as head of the junior drivers’ programme has helped promote Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen to the team. Between the two, the pair have secured two world titles and 73 of the team’s 92 victories.

Marko would have also helped current F1 stars Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gaslsy, Alex Albon and Yuki Tsunoda onto the grid. Marko’s possible departure could make it difficult to scout the next generation of talent which could affect the constructor in several years.

However, Marko insisted in the same interview ‘the fire still burns’ for the time being. The Red Bull chief previously suggested he would have to be fired to leave his role.

In an interview with Auto Hebdo, Marko said: “Everything is a story of passion and I am a great enthusiast. I love this sport and I love winning. None of my activities are stressful for me. I feel good and as long as I can continue to do this job properly and I don’t get fired, I will!”

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Red Bull boss Christian Horner previously admitted he first met Marko when buying a trailer for his dad’s Arden International race team. Horner admitted he thought he had been scammed when Marko asked for the money upfront but would deliver it in a week.

Marko and Horner stayed in touch with the Austrian recommending the young team boss to Dietrich Mateschitz. Horner added: “Dietrich has always been tremendously good at giving youth an opportunity.”

“You’ve seen it with the junior programme, across the football academies and all the sports that they’re in. He was prepared to take a risk. I was 31 years of age and they gave me the keys and said ‘get on with it.’”

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