Dr Helmut Marko is continuing to play down speculation of a power struggle at the very top of Red Bull’s Formula 1 program.
It appears as though rumours of the second team Alpha Tauri’s sale were prompted by Oliver Mintzlaff – the new Red Bull CEO in the wake of founder Dietrich Mateschitz’s death.
“I used to call Didi when I heard these (sale) rumours, who never knew anything about it,” Franz Tost, boss of Alpha Tauri, told Sport1.
“Now I’ve taken care of it with the new manager. Alpha Tauri is not for sale.
“I had good conversations with Oliver Mintzlaff. Alpha Tauri will continue to be the team that trains young drivers. But we both think our performance needs to improve.”
Mateschitz and fellow Austrian Marko were extraordinarily close, and so when Marko referred to Manchester City’s devastating 7-0 defeat of the Mintzlaff-linked RB Leipzig football team, rumours of a rift intensified.
“All nonsense,” Marko told Krone newspaper. “A totally bloated story.
“There was nothing more than an ironic comment as a non-football expert. Now there are new structures that also include the independence that we want.
“It is a collaboration that is developing well.”
And so, the rumours about Alpha Tauri have died down for now.
“I said at the beginning of the year that after ninth place we had to think about something,” Marko said. “This became a theoretical sale, a theoretical move to England, a theoretical leave-it-as-is.
“This was also discussed with Mintzlaff. But nothing has been decided except that there will be no sale.”
However, rumours of a power struggle between Marko and Mintzlaff are likely to continue.
“Mateschitz was the owner and CEO, so Mintzlaff can’t make decisions like Didi did,” Marko, 79, insisted. “And we all know that he doesn’t have the expertise.”