We are downgrading this rumor to ‘false’ today.
(GMM) Dr Helmut Marko has slammed reports that former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul could be about to join Red Bull’s Formula 1 program.
The rumors suggest that, despite their bitter competitive rivalry of the past, talks have taken place between Dr Marko, Christian Horner and Frenchman Abiteboul, who was ousted as Renault team boss after 2020.
According to the rumors, 44-year-old Abiteboul would run Red Bull’s new F1 engine program.
“I really don’t know where this nonsense comes from,” Dr Marko told f1-insider.com.
“It’s absolute nonsense. Ben Hodgkinson is and will remain the leader of our engine project. We hope that he can start working as soon as possible.”
Marko also hit back at some reports suggesting that 2021 Red Bull reserve Alex Albon has raised the alarm about how competitive the energy drink-owned team will be this year.
Albon had talked about the intense focus and resources required for the end of Red Bull’s incredibly close 2021 title battle with Mercedes.
“Albon’s statements were misinterpreted,” Austrian Marko, 78, insisted.
“All I can say is that we want to defend Max Verstappen’s title and are very well positioned to do so.
“We had two different development programs running in 2021. Both worked. There’s no reason to believe that, unless someone has found the philosopher’s stone in the new regulations, Mercedes and us won’t be the favorites again this year,” he added.
January 18, 2022
In jest, Cyril Abiteboul put out this tweet with his head superimposed on the body of a Red Bull team member.
— Cyril Abiteboul (@NotGeneHaas) January 17, 2022
January 17, 2022
(GMM) One F1 boss has gone on gardening leave, another is set for a return to the sport, while a third is preparing for a top job after serving at Porsche and BMW.
It’s been a busy start to 2022 from a team management standpoint, with Aston Martin surprising the F1 world by appointing Mike Krack as departed team boss Otmar Szafnauer’s replacement.
Krack, from Luxembourg, worked as chief engineer at BMW-Sauber before serving in prominent positions at Porsche and BMW – and he now takes on a top job as he returns to F1.
“Mike will play a central and leading role, reporting to Martin Whitmarsh and leading our technical and operational functions,” said team owner Lawrence Stroll.
“We are about to embark on year two of our five-year plan, the objective of which is to win world championships,” he added.
Perhaps even more surprising news, however, is that Red Bull and former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul appear to be burying the hatchet over their previously tense working relationship.
Frenchman Abiteboul lost his job in charge of Renault’s F1 program amid the Alpine rebranding, and is said to have served since then as an advisor to Mecachrome.
According to rumors, however, he could be set to return to Formula 1 – as boss of Red Bull’s new Red Bull Powertrains engine project.
As for Marcin Budkowski, who was Alpine’s executive director, his next move is not known – but he has told his followers on social media that he has “gone gardening” for now.