DECEMBER 4, 2023

Ricciardo at centre of Red Bull power struggle

Former F1 driver Christijan Albers says it is clear that a power struggle is still underway at Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo, Abu Dhabi GP 2023
© Red Bull

Earlier this year, prior to the one-year anniversary of the death of the energy drink company's co-founder and chief Dietrich Mateschitz, rumours of a split between F1 powerbrokers Dr Helmut Marko and Christian Horner began to surface.

The moment that dramatic event happened was also the first moment I said that we would have this ego battle, Albers, a Dutch former Formula 1 driver, told RTL GP magazine.

Given the close alliance between Austrian compatriots and long-time friends Marko and Mateschitz had ended, Albers thinks Red Bull Racing team boss Horner sensed his moment to strike.

Horner has this focus on ruling alone, and we can tell now that he is working to attain that position, Albers claims.

He thinks the mid-season ousting of Nyck de Vries, and his replacement by Daniel Ricciardo, was at the centre of the power struggle.

I have the feeling that Horner is clearly trying to get Ricciardo next to Max (Verstappen) again, said Albers, "even though (Sergio) Perez has a watertight contract.

That's why they're keeping (Liam) Lawson in the background, he said, because Perez's ego is too big to go back to Alpha Tauri.