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Verstappen Reacts to Father's Critique of Horner

Verstappen Reacts to Father’s Critique of Horner

06/03/2024

Max Verstappen addresses his father Jos’s public criticisms towards Red Bull’s Christian Horner, sparking discussions amidst a tumultuous F1 season.

Max Verstappen has responded to public criticisms made by his father, Jos, towards Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Jos Verstappen’s remarks came shortly after the Bahrain Grand Prix, a weekend overshadowed by complaints from a Red Bull employee against Horner.

Following Horner’s exoneration after an investigation by an external lawyer, an anonymous email sent to F1 bosses and journalists featured damning (though unverified) screenshots.

Jos Verstappen stated that Red Bull would be “torn apart” and risked “exploding” if Horner remained in his position, a statement that surprised many and mainly confirmed the ongoing power struggle.

When asked about the situation before the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Verstappen emphasized his focus on the performance aspect of operations.

“I am the driver, I do not know what happens higher up,” Verstappen initially replied to the media.

“On my part, I am contracted to focus on the performance aspect. That is what I will concentrate on this weekend. What was said in Bahrain by everyone, let’s put that aside and hope for a calmer weekend here.”

Verstappen’s management includes his father and long-time associate, Raymond Vermeulen.

Verstappen’s Family Unity

The three-time world champion explained that he “cannot see himself in F1 without them by my side” but hopes that things can be resolved between his father and Horner.

“I guess if my father said that, he clearly felt that way. But for me, it does not matter to be on one side or the other.”

“As my father’s son, it would be odd to be on a different side than him. But I just want to focus on the performance aspect and talk less about what we do off the track than the actual performance. We have a great car and are looking forward to a good year.”

“Everyone, even if you have differences of opinion, can come back together. There are always things that can be sorted out.”

“Everyone is human enough and respectful enough towards each other. I have not always agreed with things in F1, I say that, and that is why it is good to have a discussion about certain things. It does not stop me from being here.”

“Sometimes, you can agree to disagree, that is sometimes what happens in a relationship. That is how it goes. My father is very straightforward. He is certainly not a liar.”

“I was with him until yesterday. We talk all the time; we’re a team, me, my father, and Raymond [Vermeulen, his manager] all together. It will always be like this.”

However, speculation sees a rift between Verstappen and his team if Christian Horner remains in his position. Does he see himself, under any circumstance, not racing for Red Bull in 2025 and going elsewhere?

“Things would have to get really crazy for that, but it’s not the goal for anyone.”

Red Bull: Verstappen Wants to Stay but ‘You Never Know 100% What Will Happen’

“Nobody would have ever imagined Lewis going to Ferrari,” said Max Verstappen, not fully endorsing recent remarks made by his father about Christian Horner and Red Bull. However, he asserts that he can never rule out a potential move to Mercedes F1 amid ongoing turmoil within his current team.

Speaking in front of the cameras earlier, Verstappen mentioned that “things would have to get crazy” for him to end up at Mercedes F1. He was once again questioned about a possible transfer by the written media.

While Verstappen is under contract with Red Bull until 2028, his intention is to honor it but does not rule out a change in position in the future.

“Going all the way has always been the intention when I signed. That’s why we signed for such a long time to be here.”

“And of course, it’s about car performance, and from 2026 onwards, it’s a bit of a question mark with the new regulations.”

“But I knew when I signed my contract that 2026 would be special. I also know what Red Bull has done for me in my career, right? So yeah, of course, the intention is absolutely to stay with this team because I really love it. And I’m also very happy within the team. So, as long as we are competing at the front, there’s no reason to leave.”

“Then, the fact is that nobody would have ever imagined Lewis going to Ferrari. In life in general, you never know what’s going to happen or what might happen or whatever happens around you, or what might influence you.”

“So, you can never say 100% that it will happen as you’ve decided. I approach my life like that, but I don’t think about it much either. I’m very relaxed, I’m very happy in the team. The performance is there, and as I said, there’s no reason to leave for now.”

Verstappen Reacts to Father’s Critique of Horner. Verstappen Reacts to Father’s Critique of Horner

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