Max Verstappen: It would be weird to be on opposite side to my dad

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen, 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen has weighed in on the controversial comments made by his father Jos after the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen has weighed in on the controversial comments made by his father Jos following the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Following the Bahrain Grand Prix, Jos Verstappen confirmed tensions within the Red Bull camp after Christian Horner was exonerated by Red Bull GmbH following an internal investigation into his behaviour as team boss, with the father of Max calling for Horner to lose his job as the head of the team.

Max Verstappen: Me, my dad and my manager are a team

With father Jos having publicly made such controversial comments about the team boss of Red Bull, the team’s talismanic lead driver Verstappen was barraged with questions about the comments as he spoke to media ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix weekend.

“I don’t know, because I’m the driver, I don’t know what’s happening higher up, right?” he said when asked if he shared the opinion that Red Bull is on the verge of an explosion.

“But from my side, I’m contracted to just focus on the performance side of things. Of course, that is also what I will focus on this weekend.

“Ideally, what has been said in Bahrain, from everyone basically, is to just leave that behind and hopefully we have a bit more of a quiet weekend here.”

Pushed to answer whether or not he agreed with his dad’s assertion that the team will fall apart if Horner remains in charge of the squad, Verstappen said: “I don’t know. I hope not. It shouldn’t be, it’s a strong company and a strong team with a lot of strong team members.”

The younger Verstappen confirmed he had been in conversation with his dad about the fallout from Bahrain, and hinted at his feelings by saying he’d find it strange opposing his father’s viewpoint.

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

“It’s me, my dad, and Raymond [Vermeulen, manager] 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.” recommends

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Max Verstappen: I don’t see myself in F1 without Jos and Raymond

Confirming his intent to see out his contract with Red Bull that takes him through until 2028, Verstappen also said there’s no chance of him cutting professional ties with his dad and his manager.

“I don’t see myself in F1 without them by my side, for sure,” he said.

With Horner and Verstappen senior at loggerheads over the former’s continued leadership of Red Bull, Max said he’s hopeful the two sides can put their differences aside.

“I think everyone, in general – even if you have arguments or not – there are always things that can be worked out or, in general, I think everyone is man enough and respectful enough to each other in that sense,” he said.

“I’m also not always agreeing with everything that happens, just in general in F1, with everything. That’s why sometimes it’s good to have a discussion about things. You might agree to disagree sometimes but that’s what happens in a relationship.”

With Verstappen Sr having come forward with such pointed statements, that aren’t necessarily aligned with his son’s thinking, Verstappen said he could understand his father wanting to speak on his behalf.

“My dad and I are very close, we call every day even if he’s not around or whatever,” he said.

“But on the other hand, I’m not a guy who likes to speak a lot about certain stuff. I just want to focus on the driving bit. If there are any issues, we try to always resolve it within the team.”

But, crucially, does Verstappen believe his father now regrets making those comments?

“I haven’t asked him that. From how I know him, he’s always very outspoken,” he said.

“He’s not a liar, that’s for sure.

“For myself, that’s what I can say about things but I think, in general for the team, it’s very important that it’s just that we can finally talk about the performance of the great car that we actually have and it seems like no one is really mentioning that too much in the last few days unfortunately.

“The only one who knows that is my dad himself. The thing is people will start making stuff, speculate, and they think that they know why he said certain kinds of things but, at the end of the day, he’s the only one.

“That’s what social media is for, right? To speculate and make up stuff and there’s not much I can do with that.”

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