Max Verstappen reveals Christian Horner was slower than his mum in karting

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen explaining to Christian Horner. Miami May 2023

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen explaining to Christian Horner. Miami May 2023

Max Verstappen says Red Bull boss Christian Horner was actually slower than his mum when they competed in karting, something which he has not hesitated to bring up.

Verstappen very much comes from a racing family, with his father Jos and mother Sophie Kumpen no strangers to going racing.

But while Jos made it to Formula 1, for Kumpen her career did not progress beyond the karting scene, though she did race against prospects who would go on to make it to Formula 1, the likes of 2009 World Champion Jenson Button included.

Speaking to The Times on the topic of watching footage from his mum’s karting exploits, Verstappen said: “It’s really nice to see. She was racing against a lot of guys who ended in F1.”

That group also includes Verstappen’s boss at Red Bull Racing Christian Horner, who like Kumpen also called time on his racing days fairly early in life, starting out on the team management road with his Arden outfit before becoming Red Bull team principal when they joined the F1 grid in 2005.

And Verstappen revealed the “funny” thing is his mum actually had the beating of Horner on the track.

“That is quite funny,” said Verstappen, “I’ve spoken about that with him; he realised that my mum was faster than him.” recommends

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It is safe to say though that Horner has gone on to enjoy great success with the Red Bull team, while Verstappen is a pivotal factor in the Austrian outfit’s resurgence.

Red Bull first rose to title prominence in 2010, Sebastian Vettel winning his and the team’s first Drivers’ title, while Red Bull made it a double by capturing the Constructors’ Championship. Three more title doubles followed.

2014-2020 though brought about a baron spell for the team, one snapped by Verstappen when he ended Lewis Hamilton’s run of Formula 1 dominance by snatching the World Championship crown on the last lap of the 2021 season.

Verstappen went on to add a second title to his CV in 2022, this time in far more comfortable fashion, and his stranglehold on Formula 1 has continued into F1 2023. With Red Bull having won all seven races so far, five of those going Verstappen’s way, a further title double looks to be very much on the cards.