Christian Horner sends firm message after post-race grilling on Red Bull saga

Henry Valantine
Christian Horner on the grid in Saudi Arabia.

Christian Horner has been grilled on the current state of Red Bull after the latest off-track comments.

Christian Horner has stated “nobody is bigger than the team” at Red Bull, following comments from Helmut Marko and Max Verstappen that suggested both of their futures may have been in doubt over the past few days.

Marko has subsequently confirmed he will be staying at Red Bull after hinting he may be at threat of suspension by Red Bull GmbH, which prompted Verstappen to state that, should the company’s motorsport advisor depart, it would be “not good for my situation” at the team, given his “very big” loyalty to him.

Christian Horner insists ‘nobody is bigger than the team’ at Red Bull

On the track in Jeddah on Saturday, it was smooth sailing for Red Bull as Verstappen led home a 1-2 finish ahead of Sergio Perez, collecting maximum points once again to keep up his and the team’s perfect start to the 2024 season.

But given that the off-track rumblings surrounding the team have not yet dissipated, questions have continued to come Horner’s way surrounding how the team is currently operating.

When asked by Sky Sports F1 if there is currently a battle for control within Red Bull, Horner responded: “No. You know, obviously a lot is made of this stuff.

“But we are one team, and nobody is bigger than the team. This team comprises across the different entities of over 1400 people, and everybody has a role to play, and that’s from the very bottom to the very top and without them performing, you don’t achieve performances like this.

“Unfortunately, there’s been obviously a lot of speculation this weekend, but once again, our focus is very much on track.”

When pressed on Marko’s comments over the weekend that he may be at threat of a suspension from the company and Verstappen’s subsequent claim that a departure for Marko would not be good for his own future at Red Bull, Horner was again defiant.

“Well firstly, Helmut is a consultant to Red Bull GmbH [Red Bull Racing’s parent company] so whatever the discussion was, was between them and not with the team,” he explained.

“Max is an important member of our team, he’s a valued member of our team, he’s a wonderful driver, but everybody has a role to play in this team.

“We are a team and no single individual is bigger than the team and that’s the only way that you achieve these kinds of results.

“Now, today was Max’s 100th podium finish, all of which have been in Red Bull Racing cars. It was his 56th race victory.

“We move ahead of Williams on 114 victories in what’s only our 20th year and this is an incredibly strong team that has strength in depth that is achieving these kinds of results.”

Jos Verstappen has been in the headlines for his vocal criticism of Horner of late, doubling down in his belief that it would be “causing problems” if he stays on as team principal, despite the internal investigation against him at Red Bull GmbH having been dismissed.

When presented with Verstappen Sr’s opinion and asked if he has his son’s backing, Horner admitted knowing about the interviews that had been given.

“Well, look, obviously there’s rumblings,” he responded.

“I’m aware of what’s been said, but Max is an important part of this team.

“He’s our driver and he’s doing a great job, and as team principal and CEO, I’m responsible for the running and the operation of this team.

“So everybody has to do their part, Max is doing his part. Everybody else is doing their part.

“I think the speculation is obviously right, but the most important thing is the team and focusing on on-track performances and we all have a vested interest in achieving performances like we have today and it’s been a phenomenal team effort. recommends

F1 2024: Head-to-head race statistics between team-mates

F1 schedule: When is the next F1 race and where is it being held?

“And what you don’t see, you only see the front end, it’s all the men and women behind the scenes, all the people in the supply chain, all the people in the support functions, all the people that work ridiculously long hours.

“It’s one of the biggest team sports, if not the biggest team sport in the world, and I think it’s important to recognise that to achieve, there’s nine other teams trying to do what we’re doing, and it’s not that easy.

“And you only do that by having a spirit, a culture and a determination throughout the entire company. And of course, the drivers are driving the end product and they’ve done a wonderful job today. But we move on and our focus is very much on Melbourne.”

And in conclusion, to clarify that there is currently a decent working culture within Red Bull Racing as it stands, Horner replied: “Yes, absolutely.

“You know, Red Bull Racing is the most followed sporting entity of any sports team in the world.

“We’ve got an incredible team and incredible group of men and women that are doing an amazing job, without which we wouldn’t be achieving these performances.”

Read next: Saudi Arabian GP: Another race, another Max Verstappen win, another Red Bull 1-2