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Max Verstappen: Red Bull driver insists Christian Horner and Helmut Marko must stay at team after feud claims

Christian Horner and Helmut Marko have been at Red Bull since the team joined Formula 1 in 2005; watch the full United States GP weekend live on Sky Sports F1, with qualifying at 10pm on Friday, the Sprint at 11pm on Saturday, and then the Grand Prix at 8pm on Sunday

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Max Verstappen says Helmut Marko and Christian Horner are staying to keep the Red Bull-winning formula continuing.

Max Verstappen insists Christian Horner and Helmut Marko "must stay" at Red Bull after speculation about a feud between the leading figures at the team.

Ahead of this weekend's United States GP - live on Sky Sports F1 - reports claimed that team principal Horner wanted Marko out of the team due to disagreements on a variety of topics, despite Red Bull sealing both the drivers' and constructors' titles with five rounds remaining.

Red Bull advisor Marko, who has a big say in selecting the team's - and its junior AlphaTauri squad's - driver line-up, says he has a contract with Red Bull until the end of 2024 and told Austrian outlet Oe24 that he, and not Horner, will decide when he leaves the team.

Verstappen, who has just sealed a third successive drivers' title and wields considerable power at Red Bull as the team's star driver, suggests that their successful infrastructure must remain.

When asked by Sky Sports F1 if either Horner or Marko leaving Red Bull would impact his future with the team, Verstappen answered: "That's why they are not leaving."

Max Verstappen, Christian Horner and Helmut Marko
Image: Marko (C) and Horner (R) have been key figures in Verstappen's success

"Everyone is staying in exactly the same role. That has never really been a discussion. It's very important when you are doing well, and the team are doing very well, that you keep those people that are very important to the success of the team. Everyone knows that.

"From our side, it has always been super clear. I don't know why people outside the team were trying to doubt that. From our side, it's always been clear that it has to stay that way."

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Red Bull come to Austin a year after the death of co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz, who was close to Marko. Since then, Oliver Mintzlaff has been appointed one of the CEOs at Red Bull and Marko has come under scrutiny for comments made towards Sergio Perez when he blamed his work ethic on the Mexican driver's background.

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Speaking on the Sky Sports F1 Podcast, Red Bull's senior power unit assembly technician Calum Nicholas discusses what puts Max Verstappen on another level compared to past team drivers

Verstappen, who has won the last two races in Austin, says the mood at Red Bull is good following their championship success.

"People are trying to basically talk some b******t because I think the mood in the team is very good. Everyone knows exactly what their role is," he said.

"It was sad last year when Dietrich passed away but we tried to keep that legacy, keep moving it forward and everyone that we have right now in the team is very important to the success that we are having. So that's why there are also no changes for the future. So I think that basically explains it."

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As Max Verstappen closes in on his 50th race victory, take a look back at the Red Bull driver's top five greatest race wins

Verstappen has the opportunity to win his 50th race in F1 on Sunday to go one behind Alain Prost's 51 victories - the fourth most in the championship's history.

The 26-year-old can also set new records for the most wins, podiums and points in a season over the remaining five Grand Prix.

"I want to win. My approach is not different to any other race. I know from myself that if I approached it in any different way I would only be annoyed with myself, so that's why we come here and we want to win," said Verstappen.

When to watch the US GP and F1 Academy finale live only on Sky Sports F1

Friday October 20

  • 2.15pm: F1 Academy Practice One
  • 6pm: US GP Practice One (Session starts 6.30pm)
  • 7.55pm: F1 Academy Practice Two
  • 9pm: US GP Qualifying build-up
  • 10pm: US GP Qualifying (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
  • 11.30pm: F1 Academy Qualifying
  • (Saturday) 12.30am: Ted's Qualifying Notebook

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Look back at some of the most dramatic moments to have taken place at the United States Grand Prix

Saturday October 21

  • 3.30pm: F1 Academy Race One
  • 6pm: US GP Sprint Shootout build-up
  • 6:30pm: US GP Sprint Shootout
  • 9.15pm: F1 Academy Race Two
  • 10pm: US GP Sprint build-up
  • 11pm: US GP SPRINT (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
  • (Sunday) 12.30am: Ted's Sprint Notebook

Sunday October 22

  • 3.30pm: F1 Academy Race Three
  • 6.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: US GP build-up
  • 8pm: THE UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX (also on Sky Sports Main Event)
  • 10pm: Chequered Flag: US GP reaction
  • 11pm: Ted's Notebook

Watch Formula 1 return to Texas for the United States Grand Prix and another Sprint weekend live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW

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