Max Verstappen grilled on him-or-me Christian Horner ultimatum at Red Bull

Oliver Harden
A split image featuring close ups of a menacing Max Verstappen and a worried Christian Horner

Max Verstappen and Christian Horner.

Max Verstappen has stressed the need to have a “quiet environment where everyone is happy to work” at Red Bull amid speculation that the team faces a straight choice between him and Christian Horner.

Despite claiming his 45th victory of the last 67 races at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, Verstappen’s future at Red Bull has become uncertain in light of the saga involving long-term team principal Horner.

Max Verstappen keen on ‘quiet’ Red Bull environment

After an investigation into Horner’s conduct was dismissed last week, Verstappen’s father Jos brought bubbling inter-team tensions to the surface by calling for Horner to leave, accusing him of “playing the victim when he is the one causing the problems.”

Verstappen Sr also warned that the team “is in danger of being torn apart” and will “explode” if Horner remains in position.

Despite holding a contract until 2028, Verstappen has been heavily linked with a lucrative move to Mercedes to replace seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who announced last month that he will join Ferrari in 2025. recommends

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Asked ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian GP if he and Horner can co-exist in the same team in light of his father’s comments, Verstappen told media in Jeddah: “We are at the moment.”

Pressed on the suggestion that Red Bull must decide between one or the other, he added: “I saw a lot of stories about that, which is not very good to read.

“But from my side, what I want – and that doesn’t matter who’s involved in the team or not – is to have, of course, a quiet environment where everyone is happy to work.”

Verstappen also spoke of his pride at the way the Red Bull managed to shut out the noise to dominate in Bahrain, where the three-time World Champion and team-mate Sergio Perez secured the team’s seventh one-two finish since the start of 2023.

He said: “It’s not about being isolated from it.

“I think you could see in Bahrain that it doesn’t affect the performance of the team.

“Of course, ideally, as a team, you wouldn’t like to have these kinds of moments, but it also shows that I think we are all quite focused on our job and that’s of course to perform on the track.”

Verstappen’s comments come after he did not distance himself from his father’s comments on Horner, claiming it would be “weird” if he held a different view given the closeness between the pair and his manager Raymond Vermeulen.

“I was with him until yesterday. We speak all the time, we’re a team,” Verstappen said of his father.

“It’s me, my dad, and Raymond all together. That will always be like that, also, but I guess he clearly felt like that.

“From my side, it doesn’t matter, being on one side or the other side. As a son of my dad, it’d 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 we have a great car and we’re looking forward to a great year.”

Asked if he believes his father now regrets his comments about Horner, Verstappen responded: “I haven’t asked him that.

“From how I know him, he’s always very outspoken.

“He’s not a liar, that’s for sure.”

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