Max Verstappen Stops Short of Endorsing F1 Team Boss Christian Horner

Jackson Wheeler
5 Min Read

  • Verstappen ignoring external noise amid Red Bull politics.
  • Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner was investigated preseason by the outfit’s parent company and was eventually cleared.
  • Within 24 hours of Red Bull’s announcement that it had cleared Horner of inappropriate behavior. a spate of messages purporting to involve Horner were leaked.

Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen says he “wants to focus on performance” amid the off-track noise surrounding his Red Bull Racing team.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner was investigated preseason by the outfit’s parent company and was eventually cleared, but within 24 hours a spate of messages purporting to involve Horner were leaked.

Horner doubled down after Saturday’s Grand Prix, once more dismissing the allegations, before Jos Verstappen—Max’s father—gave a quote to the Daily Mail, suggesting Red Bull Racing could be torn apart if Horner stays.

When asked on Wednesday if he shared his father’s thoughts, World Champion Verstappen said: “Well I think, of course I don’t know, because I’m the driver, I don’t know what’s happening higher up. But from my side, I’m contracted to just focus on the performance side of things. And that is of course what I will focus on this weekend, and ideally what has been said in Bahrain, from everyone, basically, to just leave that behind and hopefully have a bit more quieter weekend here.”

Jos Verstappen is not present this weekend in Jeddah, home of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as he is participating in a car rally event in Europe.

When asked if he has spoken to his father since the comments, Max replied: “I was with him until yesterday, so this morning, basically.

“I mean we speak all the time, we’re a team. It’s me, my dad and (manager) Raymond (Vermeulen0 altogether. And that will always be like that also. I guess he clearly felt like that. But I think from my side, it doesn’t matter, like, being on one side (of the argument) or the other side, of course, as a son of my dad, it would be weird to be on a different side, but from my side, I just want to focus on the performance side of things. I just want to have less talk of what we are doing as a team outside of the track than the actual performance, which at the moment I think is, again, we have a great car, and we are looking forward to a great year.”

Verstappen added that he “doesn’t see myself in F1 without them (his father and Vermeulen) by my side for sure” and never explicitly endorsed Horner.

“From my side, what I want, and that doesn’t matter who is involved in the team or not, is to have a quiet environment where everyone is happy to work,” said the 26-year-old Max.

Verstappen also dismissed the notion that he could be seeking an exit from Red Bull Racing, to whom he is contracted through 2028.

“That has always been the intention of signing, that’s why we signed so long to be here,” he said. “And of course it’s about the performance of the car, and of course from 2026 onwards anyway, that is a bit of a question mark with new regulations, but I knew that when I signed my contract. But I also know what they have done for me in my career.

“The intention is of course absolutely to stay with this team, because I really enjoy it and I’m really happy within the team, and as long as we perform, there is no reason to leave.”


U.K.-based Phillip Horton started covering Grands Prix while still at university and swiftly deemed that writing about Formula 1 and the behind-the-scenes machinations was much more engaging than reading centuries-old novels. Degree gained, he went on to cover the sport full-time from 2014 and is as intrigued and excited by the destinations Formula 1 visits during its lengthy annual world tour as the racing itself. Phillip joined Autoweek in 2021 and while he has just about learned to spell in American English he has yet to find anywhere in America that makes a proper cup of tea.

Share This Article
Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
Leave a comment