Horner amused by AlphaTauri sale rumours
By Ian Parkes
Tuesday 14th March, 2023 - 10:30pm
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has declared himself ‘amused’ by the recent F1 gossip surrounding the potential sale of sister team AlphaTauri.
Speculation surfaced towards the end of February that following the death of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz late last year, and the implementation of a new three-man board, that AlphaTauri could either be sold or relocate to England.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko fanned the flames by declaring the synergy between a championship-winning team and one that finished ninth in the constructors’ standings (as occurred with Red Bull and AlphaTauri last year) ‘did not work properly’.
Marko added that “as proper business people”, the board would “make the right decision”.
In a statement from AlphaTauri ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, team boss Franz Tost said the rumours of a sale “had no foundation”.
Horner has also laughed off the possibility. He said: “As we all know, there’s always plenty of speculation in this paddock.
“Of course, anything like that would be ultimately down to the shareholders, and their commitment has always been absolute.
“So yes, it’s sometimes amusing to see how things get carried away, but as far as I’m aware, there are no changes planned.
“As you know, we have synergies and supply agreements with AlphaTauri, where we supply various components, they share our wind tunnel, for example, as well. So, there’s nothing planned.”
Could Marko leave Red Bull?
One possible change, however, could see Marko opt to retire from his position with Red Bull.
Now 79, Marko was a long-time friend and confidante of Mateschitz who ran both operations with passion and without the drawbacks that potentially arise in operating out of a boardroom.
Marko has made clear his relationship with the board, spearheaded by Oliver Mintzlaff who previously worked at German Bundesliga football team RB Leipzig, is seemingly on thin ice.
Mintzlaff has taken on a new position as chief executive of corporate projects and investments that oversees all of Red Bull’s sports teams, including those in F1.
The rumours of AlphaTauri’s sale were fuelled by the fact that Mintzlaff is understood to be not much of a motorsport fan.
Explaining his dealings so far with Mintzlaff, speaking to Speedweek, Marko said: “We’ve met twice.
“He was given some insight. How well he’ll respond to our ideas remains to be seen. Red Bull Racing has always been very autonomous.”
Pertinently, Marko added: “It’s no longer the case that I call with a report after every practice and race. The direct, personal, friendly relationship is no longer there.
“Didi (Mateschitz) was a visionary, (who) had emotions. I am not seeing that anymore.”
In terms of his own position, he stated: “I am a free person, I can stop any time if I’m no longer enjoying it. We’ll see how the future goes.”
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