Sebastian Vettel may return to Red Bull after 10 years as a top manager
Six months ago, on 22 October 2022, the world said goodbye to the founder of Red Bull GmbH, Dietrich Mateschitz. Even during a rather long and serious illness with cancer, Mateschitz continued to lead Red Bull and even caught the race team's return to the top in 2021 with Max Verstappen. Unfortunately for them, he didn't live to see their second Constructors Cup literally one day. Of course, his death entailed a realignment of the entire management structure and now the news is gaining new momentum.
Let's go back to those same six months ago and see what happened to Red Bull after Mateschitz's death. To the management of the group came his 29-year-old son Mark, and it was on his shoulders was the responsibility for the reorganization of the entire group. The company was headed not by one person, but several. A kind of "Board of Directors" was formed, consisting of Franz Watzlawick (Beverage General Manager), Alexander Kirchmayr (Chief Financial Officer) and Oliver Mintzlaff (General Manager for Corporate Projects and Investments). This system was developed by Mateschitz Sr. before his death.
Oliver Mintzlaff is now responsible for the sports division, which also includes Formula 1. Since 2014, the German has been managing director of the German soccer club RB Leipzig. At the time, many assumed two scenarios. The first, Red Bull Racing would retain its autonomy and success while Helmut Marko was at the helm. The second is that Mintzlaff's influence would prove disastrous for the team: motorsport is a rather specific sport that requires a special approach, and a manager from soccer could ruin everything.
Much was left behind the scenes, but Mintzlaff and Marko got a kind of conflict on the basis of rumors about the sale of AlfaTauri. Mintzlaff said that keeping two teams was too costly and not financially profitable. Helmut Marko's response was his completely opposite opinion that if you build the management competently, you can get more profit. But in any case, the decision is up to Mintzlaff.
After this "conflict" there were rumors about the imminent retirement of 80-year-old Helmut Marko. And it was at this point the name of the former Red Bull driver and their four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel began to appear more and more often in interviews with Horner and Marko! In mid-February, we learned from Helmut's interview that Red Bull are preparing Vettel for a position in the top management of one of their teams. Moreover, they have already discussed it, and quite successfully. Marco also mentioned that they do not rush him and give him the opportunity to do what Sebastian likes.
"But now we'll let him plant some trees for once and then we'll see what happens. He would certainly have the potential and he would have that personality for it. We have heard the message. We have two teams. We are open. But Sebastian, it's a serious difference - as top management you have to be there earlier, leave later and you only get a fraction of the money you are used to as a driver!"
Rumors started again this week that Red Bull is slowly leading fans to Dr. Marko's retirement. Obviously, he will need a replacement, and one so that the team doesn't lose its level. Ted Kravitz, a reporter for Sky Sports, reported that this "someone" could be Sebastian Vettel, since both Red Bull are waiting for his return As a top manager, and Sebastian's knowledge is enough to mentor the team and the youth.
Everyone understands that along with Dr. Marko will leave the Red Bull we all know. Moreover, we can only speculate, how will work duo Horner and Vettel, who for the past dozen years have matured.