Red Bull and Ferrari in discreet talks over spate of ill-advised personnel moves at Christian Horner’s private location

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was involved in crunch talks with Ferrari president John Elkann and his Maranello counterpart Frederic Vasseur during the Monaco Grand Prix.

These talks continued further in a more discreet setting as Elkann and Vasseur joined Horner in his motorhome.

Christian Horner. Credit:
Christian Horner. Credit:

With Franz Tost set to retire as team principal at AlphaTauri, Laurent Mekies is expected to assume his position and the discussions were largely believed to have centred around this, with significant changes taking place at AlphaTauri as a result.

A significant change in Ferrari’s leadership will see Mekies working closely with former FIA secretary general Peter Bayer, who will become the CEO at the team.

Gardening leave is a common concept in F1, where any person needs to spend a stipuoated period on the sidelines before joining another team. has reported that the main discussion between Horner and the two Ferrari men was over the duration of Laurent Mekies’ gardening leave period, which could potentially last up to six months.

Mekies could, however, even leave Ferrari before the Spanish Grand Prix.

This would be possible for Ferrari since they have already lined up a number of potential candidates to fill the slot, notably from Red Bull itself.

If they do go ahead and finalise any deal with a Red Bull personnel, even that person would need to serve the gardening leave period.

It is believed that Red Bull and Ferrari are not on the best of terms as a result of these numerous moving pieces in terms of their personnel.

When AlphaTauri announced Mekies as the successor to Tost, it did not go down well with Elkann and his team.

The decision to announce it publicly was also done after a media leak and it was not conducted in the manner that the team would have liked.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen. Credit:
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Credit:

Tost spoke about how the entire episode had not gone as per plan.

“But as you all [journalists are] very professional, there were some leaks in the press,” Tost said.

“And I didn’t want to come here to Baku – it was in the Gazzetta dello Sport, for example, that Laurent will come to us – and to tell all to you, ‘no, I don’t know anything,’ because it’s not the way of how we are working.

“So, we said ‘Okay, we go out with the press release.’ It was planned to do at a later time in the year. But now it’s out. And of course, I can imagine that some people are not happy about this.”

AlphaTauri has had a torrid time this season, managing to secure just two points in the first six races.

While Red Bull team advisor has been vocal about his displeasure with AlphaTauri, the team’s CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has urged the junior team to get more closely involved with the rest of the organisation.

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