May 28 - Dr Helmut Marko has hit back at claims he has "a problem with the Schumacher name".

Last week, Mick Schumacher's uncle Ralf suggested AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost actually wanted to sign Mick for 2023 rather than struggling rookie Nyck de Vries.

Ralf says team owner Red Bull's top Austrian official Marko vetoed the deal.

"Marko seems to have a problem with the Schumacher name or personally with Mick," he said. "Otherwise I don't understand at all why there weren't any talks, because you have to bear in mind that Red Bull doesn't have a very strong market in Germany.

"Having a Schumacher in your Formula 1 team would have had a lot of positive influence," Schumacher added.

Marko, 80, lashed back at that suggestion in conversation with the Austrian newspaper Osterreich.

"I have no problem with the Schumacher name," he insisted.

"For me, Michael Schumacher is the greatest and I speak to Ralf regularly.

"He's just confusing one thing - our F1 program is based on performance, not on marketing," Marko concluded.

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