Helmut Marko Fought to Keep Christian Horner from Joining Ferrari.

Helmut Marko has disclosed his exceptional efforts towards the end of the previous year. The Austrian embarked on a mission to dissuade Red Bull’s longstanding team boss, Christian Horner, from accepting an enticing offer to join Ferrari as the successor to Mattia Binotto.

Marko’s persuasive determination knew no bounds as he went above and beyond to secure Horner’s continued presence within the Red Bull team.

The dominant reign of Red Bull Racing in Formula 1, initially from 2010 to 2013 and more recently in 2022, has naturally piqued the curiosity of rival teams.

The impressive performance of the Milton Keynes-based team has sparked a keen interest among competitors, who aspire to acquire the expertise and knowledge that has propelled Red Bull’s success. They aim to leverage this experience to elevate their level of competitiveness.

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Adrian Newey, widely regarded as one of the greatest designers in Formula 1 history, holds the esteemed position of chief technical officer at Red Bull. His exceptional talent and innovation have not gone unnoticed, as Ferrari has persistently pursued him in the past, attempting to secure his services on multiple occasions.

The Italian powerhouse recognizes Newey’s remarkable skills and has actively sought to harness his expertise within their ranks.

Back in 2014, during a challenging period for Red Bull with their engine partner Renault, the House of Maranello made a notable offer to Adrian Newey. This proposition arrived at a time when Red Bull was grappling with performance issues, causing many restless nights for Newey.

The circumstances surrounding the team’s struggle and the enticing offer from Ferrari undoubtedly created a sense of contemplation and potential change for the renowned designer.

“It was a very difficult decision,” remembered Newey. “Ferrari came up with an incredible offer, very attractive, and it caused me a lot of sleepless nights deciding what to do and who to go for. In the end, it would have felt wrong to walk out on Red Bull.”

Reflecting on the dilemma faced by Adrian Newey almost a decade ago, Helmut Marko recalled his own restless nights, especially one particular instance.

During that crucial period, Marko managed to achieve a significant triumph by persuading Red Bull’s esteemed design guru to continue his invaluable contributions at the Milton Keynes headquarters. The memory of that decisive night remains etched in Marko’s mind, symbolizing a pivotal moment in retaining Newey’s expertise within the team.

“[Ferrari chairman Luca di] Montezemelo was already cheering in the paddock and wanted to announce the deal,” Marko told Blick.

“But during the night we were able to change Newey’s mind.”

Subsequently, the Austrian elaborated on the endeavours endeavours he undertook towards the close of the previous year. He shared insights into the immense efforts exerted in persuading Christian Horner to resist the allure of joining the Scuderia following Mattia Binotto’s departure.

Marko passionately campaigned to dissuade Horner from accepting a compelling offer presented by Ferrari, recognizing the invaluable role he played within the Red Bull team.

“It took me another whole night to convince Horner to stay at Red Bull,” the 80-year-old recounted. “And it cost us millions more.”

Ultimately, the Italian team directed their attention towards enticing Frederic Vasseur, the team boss of Sauber/Alfa Romeo, to join their ranks in Maranello.

Despite the departures of certain vital technical personnel, such as Horner’s decision to remain with the team and Newey’s recent commitment to a new long-term agreement with the Milton Keynes squad, Red Bull has experienced the loss of other key members from their ranks.

Dan Fallows, who now serves as Aston Martin’s Technical Director, and Rob Marshall, the engineering chief, have both been enticed away by McLaren and are set to commence their work with them in 2024.

Meanwhile, Ferrari made an attempt to secure the services of Pierre Wache, the current Technical Director at Red Bull. However, their efforts were met with resistance as teams strive to acquire Newey’s trusted aides when securing Newey himself proves challenging.