Dr. Helmut Marko acknowledges that Red Bull has facilitated Laurent Mekies’ departure from Ferrari.
It was previously known that Mekies, Ferrari’s sporting director, had been signed to become the new team boss at Red Bull-owned Alpha Tauri. However, he encountered obstacles in leaving Maranello due to disagreements over the terms of his contract release.
As the Belgian GP weekend commenced, Ferrari made an announcement confirming that Mekies will not be present in the Spa-Francorchamps paddock.
“Laurent Mekies’ time at Scuderia Ferrari comes to an end this week,” the team confirmed.
Diego Ioverno will succeed him in the role.
Dr. Helmut Marko confirmed that Red Bull has finally reached an agreement with Ferrari regarding Mekies’ release. It is rumored that part of the deal involves Red Bull’s technical director, Pierre Wache, heading to Maranello.
“We have agreed on a deal with Ferrari,” Marko stated to Sport1. “Mekies is coming to us in January.”
Verstappen supports postponement of tyre blanket ban
Formula 1 has opted not to proceed with the planned banning of tyre-warming blankets for 2024.
Prior to the crucial F1 Commission meeting at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday, reigning world champion Max Verstappen was among the drivers voicing opposition to the ban.
“People don’t understand how hard it is to even drive a car out of the pitlane with 1000 horsepower,” expressed the Red Bull driver.
He also contested the sustainability rationale for the ban, arguing that tyre blankets consume less overall power than “the air conditioners in the paddock”.
Verstappen contended that the ban would adversely impact racing, deeming the prospect of a car with cold tyres leaving the pits attempting to race against another car with warm tyres as “stupid”.
Consequently, the F1 Commission has decided to defer the tyre blanket ban for a year, notwithstanding the FIA’s insistence that recent testing of 2024 development Pirelli tyres showed it could have been achieved.
“I think it’s just too early in the process,” supported Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, advocating for the delay.
“We recently conducted a test with Pirelli, and while I think they’ve made good progress, there was a collective decision that it’s not quite ready for 2024.”