Red Bull 'ready to let Max Verstappen go' with seismic Christian Horner decision to rock F1 world

Red Bull 'ready to let Max Verstappen go' with seismic Christian Horner decision to rock F1 world

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Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 18/03/2024

- 08:09

The 26-year-old is one of the best drivers in Formula One history - but could leave the team as the saga continues to rumble on

Red Bull have reportedly decided they are willing to let Max Verstappen go if it means keeping hold of Christian Horner.

The Horner saga isn't going away, with the team principal still in the spotlight following allegations from a female member of staff.

Horner was cleared of misconduct by Red Bull at the end of last month, having always denied allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

He has since overseen the first two races of the season, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia respectively, with Verstappen reigning supreme on both occasions.

Max Verstappen Christian Horner

Red Bull are reportedly prepared to prioritise Christian Horner over Max Verstappen in a fresh bombshell development


Last week, however, it emerged the female member of staff who made the allegations of misconduct would be appealing Red Bull's decision on Horner.

And The Mirror say the F1 side have decided they're prepared to let Verstappen go if it means keeping hold of Horner.

Major Red Bull shareholders, including majority owner Chalerm Yoodivhya, are said to be behind the 50-year-old.

Austrian CEOs Franz Watzlawick and Oliver Mintlaff are also supportive of Horner.

Verstappen has been nothing short of outstanding in recent years, with the 26-year-old winning the last three F1 titles.

He has also been able to end the dominance of Lewis Hamilton, who hasn't won a race in two years.

Verstappen has been linked with Mercedes amid the uncertainty over his future, with Hamilton ditching the Silver Arrows for Ferrari at the end of the season.

And if Red Bull are forced to choose between their star driver and Horner, it's claimed they're ready to go with the latter.

Verstappen's manager, Raymond Vermeulen, has been informed of the team's stance on the matter.

The Red Bull driver is contracted to the Formula One side until 2028, having signed a bumper new deal with the team in March 2022.

However, his deal contains a break clause that allows him to depart should Helmut Marko leave the side.

Marko is a key ally to Verstappen and his father, Jos, who has publicly criticised Horner on a couple of occasions over the past month.

This clause was reportedly made without anyone from Red Bull, including Horner, having knowledge of the situation.

Red Bull are desperate for the civil war to end, with the team eager to continue their dominance of F1 despite everything going on behind the scenes.

For the time being, however, it seems as though the saga is poised to rumble on.


Christian Horner Helmut Marko Red Bull

Max Verstappen is loyal to Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko


Meanwhile, Mercedes chief Toto Wolff was recently asked about Horner.

And he expressed a belief that, should his Red Bull rival remain as team principal, there will be big changes behind the scenes.

“I’m just saying: If Horner stays, there are exciting scenarios," he said.

“Ultimately, it’s all about the Horner personnel.

"But as I said, I only read about what happens internally at Red Bull in the media.”

Red Bull Christian Horner

Red Bull are continuing to back Christian Horner ahead of the Australian Grand Prix


He added: “From the outside, we get a lot of drama. But for a team like Red Bull, a situation like this is not great.

“We live in a very transparent world,” he said.

“If you don’t say something, it only becomes more interesting: that leads to more questions, more stories, and more speculation.”

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