Marko rejects report Red Bull owner Mateschitz wants Vettel 'home'

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Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko has denied any interest in re-signing Sebastian Vettel for 2021.

On Thursday, a report by Motorsport-Total claims that Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz wants the four-time world champion back "home" next season, following his exit from Ferrari, and has ordered Marko to sign him.

Before that can be done, however, there are three criteria that must be met...

First, Alex Albon must continue to lag behind teammate Max Verstappen by a solid margin, having finished four-tenths slower in qualifying last weekend and struggled to match the leading pace on Sunday before switching to soft tyres.

Secondly, Mateschitz himself must get the Thai co-owners, the Yoovidhya family, who own 51 per cent of the company, to agree despite the likely outcome of Albon being demoted back to AlphaTauri.

And third, Vettel himself must want to return to Red Bull and face the prospect of going up against Verstappen, echoing his current situation against Charles Leclerc.

The German publication says the reason why Mateschitz wants the 33-year-old is the potential marketing opportunities of, arguably, his company's two best ever talents racing alongside each other.

Then there's also a sense of loyalty to Vettel, who made Red Bull the company they are in F1 by winning the first races for each team and of course claimed their only championships to date, but is currently facing a tumultuous exit from the sport having been dumped by the Scuderia.

But responding to all of this ahead of the second race in Austria in a week this Sunday, Marko was clear.

"We have no place for Vettel," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "We have Albon and we are happy with him. Albon is half Thai and Red Bull is 51 per cent Thai."

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This week though, Sebastian stirred the pot some more by joining Verstappen, Pierre Gasly and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner for a long interview on ServusTV, a station owned by Red Bull, and revealed the first person he called after Ferrari informed him of his departure was Marko. 

“Quite frankly I called him right after the decision, but not at first to ask ‘Helmut, do you have a place?’, but because I get on very well with him and he has been a confidante for years," he explained.

“I asked him for advice. I described the situation to him as it is. He is also known for wearing his heart on his tongue and then I spoke to him. What will ultimately come out will be demonstrated.”

Interesting times indeed.