Max Verstappen 'will leave Red Bull if he has to' father tells friends amid Christian Horner chaos

Max Verstappen 'will leave Red Bull if he has to' father tells friends amid Christian Horner chaos

WATCH NOW: Bev Turner weighs in on scandal that engulfs Christian Horner

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 03/03/2024

- 14:25

Updated: 03/03/2024

- 15:51

The Red Bull driver may not stay with the team despite his remarkable success in recent years

Max Verstappen's father, Jos, has reportedly told friends his son will 'leave Red Bull if he has to' amid the ongoing Christian Horner saga.

Horner was recently cleared of inappropriate behaviour by Red Bull but has remained in the spotlight after alleged texts and WhatsApp messages were leaked.

Jos has criticised Horner, saying on Saturday: “There is tension here while he remains in position.

“The team is in danger of being torn apart. It can’t go on the way it is. It will explode.

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen could leave Red Bull as the Christian Horner saga continues to hang over the F1 sidfe


"He is playing the victim, when he is the one causing the problems.”

Now, according to The Telegraph, Jos has told friends that his son will 'leave Red Bull if he has to' as the Horner scandal rumbles on.

The 26-year-old has been the best driver on the planet in recent years, winning three F1 titles.

He is the strong favourite to secure the crown in 2024, too, especially after cruising to victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday.

The report says Jos and Mercedes chief Toto Wolff have been spotted talking regularly in recent days, leading to talk of a potential switch come the end of the season.

They even stayed in the same Four Seasons hotel in the Middle East prior to Saturday's race action.

Mercedes are currently hunting a replacement for Lewis Hamilton after it was recently confirmed the Stevenage-born racer is off to Ferrari.

Verstappen was of interest to the Silver Arrows as a junior.

However, with Mercedes previously having both Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as their main drivers, they were unable to offer him a place in their team.

Wolff was full of praise for Verstappen after the race in Bahrain, with his comments doing little to dampen talk of a potential transfer.

“Max is in a different league, a different galaxy,” said the Austrian.

“We just have to acknowledge his performance levels. The performance was extraordinary.”

Wolff was also asked whether he would consider Verstappen for Hamilton's seat.

He didn't outright dismiss the idea, either, adding: “I think the driver will always choose the quickest car.

“That is fundamentally what it’s all about. At the moment, the Red Bull is the quickest car so that will always be in my opinion the priority.”


Jos Verstappen

Jos Verstappen has publicly criticised Christian Horner to add to the doubts surrounding Max Verstappen's future


Horner has continued to protest his innocence while the situation plays out.

He is confident of staying in his role at Red Bull and confirmed his stance while speaking in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's race.

Wolff, meanwhile, has called on F1 authorities to intervene and provide clarity on the matter as his Red Bull rival battles on.

Addressing the Horner speculation, he said: “I think the moment I start to continue to question how this has been handled, I'm probably not doing any good to the whole issue.

“Then it could be seen that this is just about a power fight within F1. That's why I think it's not in the teams' hands.

Toto Wolff Christian Horner

Toto Wolff has weighed in with Christian Horner battling on at Red Bull despite allegations against his name


“It's so much a bigger topic, that I don't want to diminish the whole situation by making it seem like the Mercedes or McLaren guy talks about the Red Bull guys.

“Let's see where it goes in the next days. I would very much hope that the governing body, the sanctioning body and the commercial rights holder set the compass right.”

He added: “I think the handling of the situation is very critical for F1.

“It's not in the hands of competitors to have any action, and we should look at ourselves in terms of what is it we can do in order to optimise on all of these topics: equality and diversity. That's what we're doing.

“I'm very proud that we are at the forefront of that. To judge about another person or another team, it's the governing body that needs to do that.

“They have it in their hand. And this is probably where we need to look at.”

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