Christian Horner has spoken out to hush any rumors that Helmut Marko’s control at Red Bull is growing beyond that of the team principal.
In the past few seasons, Marko has acted as an advisor to the team, and he has made his affinity to Sebastian Vettel clear amid the disputes at Red Bull. Following the latest “multi 21” fiasco, many believed that Marko’s influence at the team was becoming too great, but Horner has been quick to silence these critics.
“I have full responsibility for the operation of the team; trackside and in the factory,” Horner explained to Autosport.
“Helmut has responsibilities elsewhere with the young-driver programme but he has no operational responsibility or input into how we operate as a racing team. He’s an advisor to Dietrich [Mateschitz], and he’s obviously an experienced hand.”
Marko has played a big part in triple-champion Vettel’s rise through the ranks of motorsport, and he now appears to be tasked with finding Mark Webber’s replacement.
In turn, this allows Horner to focus on retaining both of Red Bull’s titles.
“Part of his role is that within the Red Bull corporate world, now that it’s such a large company, he has enabled Red Bull Racing to retain its independence. That allows me to operate with the freedom to manage the business and manage the team how I see fit.”
Whilst Red Bull may be leading both championships once again, the internal stability of the team appears to be uneasy following the turn of events in Malaysia. Marko’s outspoken nature makes him a difficult personality to control, but there is no denying that he has helped to turn Vettel into an all-time great of Formula One.
Juncos Racing continued to bolster its entries in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by signing Carlos Cunha to pilot a third Juncos Pro Mazda entry for 2018. Cunha, who finished third in the 2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season on the back of seven podium finishes, joins Rinus VeeKay and Robert Megennis in Juncos’ Pro Mazda lineup for 2018.
Cunha previously tested with the team at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in October and joined Juncos for the Chris Griffis Memorial test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in November, testing cars for both the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires teams.
“It’s great to become a part of Juncos Racing,” said the 18-year-old Cunha. “I am really excited to start the 2018 season with Juncos Racing. This fall we did some testing together and from there I was able to see how focused everyone on the team is and I even felt like I became a part of their family in no time. I am confident we will get great results together next year and I look forward to learning and growing more with the team. It will be a huge pleasure and also a great responsibility to carry the number one on my car, thanks to (2017 Pro Mazda champion Victor Franzoni) and I hope to deliver it back to the team at the end of the year!”
Team owner Ricardo Juncos added, “We are excited to add Carlos to our Pro Mazda lineup. From the moment we started testing with him in early October, we knew he would be a great fit for our team. Carlos has been very quick in testing and even had an impressive showing in the Indy Lights car at the Chris Griffis test back in October. He had a great run this past season in the Pro Mazda series and we are confident he will carry that momentum into the 2018 season.”