In the Formula 1 paddock, which sometimes turns into a kind of shallow podcast due to the quest for sensitivities and ratings from more and more TV stations and content operators, it is the individual sporting effort such as that of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing this year that has the greatest impact. Mood killing effect. But ahead of the US Grand Prix in Austin, where the world champion wants to celebrate his 50th career victory, the coveted culture of excitement has returned – thanks once again to Red Bull. Two possible early farewells are being discussed there, and the evidence is silence.
At the last race in Qatar, Helmut Marko, the Austrian motorsport consultant for the beverage company, didn’t even make an arrogant comment about the continuing lack of form of Sergio Perez, the seat next to Verstappen, but he’s actually not in the race. everyone. Suddenly things start to look up between the heroes. After the title struggle, now the power struggle.
To him he doctorAs they like to call the trained lawyer Marco, but they have already abandoned the Mexican Perez? Or has he stopped repeating himself? Perez, 33, still has a contract until the end of next season. Unlike Verstappen, who controls the RB19 with ease even under adverse conditions, Perez is no longer able to handle the car after a technical upgrade. Red Bull has practically become a one-man team.
If Perez does indeed gamble on second place in the World Championship against Lewis Hamilton, who is 30 points behind, in the remaining five races, his contract will likely be of little use to him. An eavesdropper claimed to have heard during a dinner party last week that Perez, a father of three children, wanted to resign. Others want to know that the finish has already taken place and that it will be announced after the Mexican Grand Prix in a week. Both were quickly combined with Helmut Marko’s restraint. It makes perfect sense in an action-packed World Cup.
Team boss Horner seems too smart to get into a public battle in which he can only lose
People also like to talk about the great silence in the executive suite at Red Bull Racing. Christian Horner, team boss since the racing team’s first season and therefore the longest-serving in the top flight, is said to have nothing more to say with Marko, who was appointed to him by founding father Dietrich Mateschitz. Therefore, it is said that Horner will try to force the 80-year-old to resign in order to rule alone in the future. In addition, and despite all protests to the contrary, Marko is not actually at the helm of the company’s new sporting director Oliver Mintzlaff, who has moved on from football. The conditions we live in at Bayern Munich, even things that mean nothing and are not said can make headlines.
Horner seems too smart to fight a public fight in which he can only lose. So at first he backed off and tried to respond to all the rumors about his one claim with an anecdote: “My relationship with Helmut goes back to 1996, when I bought a trailer from him to transport race cars so I could compete in Formula 3000. “Later he nominated me as technical director for Dietrich Mateschitz. So without him I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in today. Of course there are things every now and then that we have different opinions about. But I think this is good for everyone. He should continue as long as he wants.” This seems very conciliatory, perhaps too much for his usual unforgiving behavior.
Max Verstappen doesn’t let himself be provoked when asked about the mood at RB: “It’s very good.” When it comes to Marko’s future, the Dutchman is diplomatic. Ultimately, he can’t offend Horner either: “Everyone here knows exactly his role. I don’t expect any changes in the future,” says Verstappen. He adds the word prattle A, literal bullshit. He also sees conspiracy theorists at work who wanted to stir up trouble in the racing team. However, it doesn’t seem to be that easy this time after rumors spread from inside to outside.
Since his rapid decline, Perez has become accustomed to arguing with his back against the wall
There was a clear denial from the right-back of the possibility of Perez’s contract being terminated. However, it is embarrassing enough for a major racing team to face such discussions. Horner recently asked his pilot that he finally had to clear his head after making so many rookie mistakes. Red Bull – unlike Mercedes – has never finished first or second in a World Cup, so this becomes a matter of honor in this (almost) perfect season. Horner had publicly rebuked, saying: “We need a fully functional driver. Not just this year, but especially next year.”
Theoretically, no one can comment on Marco because he is not a direct employee of the team. Tensions with Horner, who of course wants to be in charge alone, would not be surprising; The density of alpha animals is high in racing. Austrian media quoted Marko as saying: “In the end, I make the decision.” His contract, like Perez’s, runs until the end of 2024. His negotiating card is Verstappen, who always emphasizes how much he owes his sponsor.
Since his rapid decline, Perez has become accustomed to arguing with his back against the wall. In Austin, he now claims he only laughed at the resignation and expulsion rumors that were initially circulating in the South American: “But I can’t do anything about it, I’m trying to focus on my job. But my season is summing up in a way.” “It’s: Someone said something about me and suddenly that’s the truth. I have a contract for next year and I don’t see any reason not to fulfill that contract. Running away – that’s not who I am.” Perez even claims that this will not be his last contract in Formula 1. Racing drivers can run ahead even in times of crisis.
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