In the last month in Formula 1 there has been talk above all of Ferrari. It’s certainly nothing new, it’s been known for decades that the spotlights on Maranello are the most powerful ever, but even in another top-team the last few weeks of this autumn haven’t exactly been carefree. We’re talking about Red Bull, and this is a bit surprising considering that it’s the team back from a season that saw them score full points.
In Milton Keynes there are some questions about the future and it is not a question of the reduction of the time available in the wind tunnel imposed by the ‘budget cap’ affair. The death of the great boss of the Red Bull empire, Dietrich Mateschitz, has led to a reorganization of management roles which obviously also included sports programmes.
Formula 1 is the most important asset within this area and the program has always enjoyed wide autonomy due to the close friendship between Helmut Marko and Mateschitz himself.
An independence also strengthened by the results obtained over the years, successes that have strengthened the conviction of a well-placed trust.
Everything worked for over fifteen years thanks to the Mateschitz-Marko relationship, but now that one of the two parties is missing, things could change. The responsibilities that belonged to the founder have been divided into three areas, with the sports programs that since the beginning of November have been in charge of Oliver Mintzlaff, former number one of Leipzig soccer and for years linked to the Austrian group.
Max Verstappen, celebrate his 15th victory of the season with donuts in Abu Dhabi
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
An indiscretion was leaked in the Yas Marina paddock according to which Mintzlaff would have been one of the major supporters of the Red Bull-Porsche project. The agreement then fell through when the official announcement was in sight, above all due to the desire of the Marko-Horner tandem to maintain the total autonomy of the team.
The agreement with Porsche would have gone beyond the supply of the 2026 power unit, as the German company was ready to enter the Red Bull Technology share package, acquiring a say in all the team’s decisions.
On 9 September, the Milton Keynes team itself declared that “…over the past few months, Porsche AG and Red Bull GmbH have discussed the possibility of Porsche entering Formula 1. The two companies have now come to the conclusion jointly that these talks will not be followed up”.
The arrival of Mintzlaff has obviously led to the hypothesis of a possible rethinking, but in reality there will be no steps backwards. However, what remains a question mark is the future autonomy of the Red Bull Formula 1 programme.
The results obtained seem to play in favor of stability, there is no reason to go and change the balance in a winning structure. However, there are also other aspects that have not gone unnoticed.
Sergio Perez and Verstappen: their relationship got stormy in Brazil
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
The media storm linked to the budget cap affair has certainly not done Red Bull’s image any good, and even the Verstappen-Perez affair that broke out in Brazil has proposed a less than idyllic scenario on relations within the team.
If in the past these situations were discussed and resolved between Marko and Mateschitz, in the future this may not be the case, and the strategic choices, such as the probable agreement with an official manufacturer to share the 2026 power unit project, will also be evaluated outside the Milton office Keynes.
Today it is difficult to understand if the parent company’s intention is to review relations with the privileged island that has always been Red Bull Formula 1, but for the first time, no one among the team’s top managers can be sure of what will happen in the future .
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