Max Verstappen given Red Bull freedom to prevent ‘robot’ behaviour

Jamie Woodhouse
Christian Horner and Max Verstappen laughing.

Red Bull's Christian Horner has a laugh and a joke with World Champion Max Verstappen.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner said the team has no interest in making a “robot” of Max Verstappen by censoring his views.

Verstappen has positioned himself firmly at the summit of Formula 1, claiming his third World Championship in F1 2023 with a display of record-breaking dominance, winning 19 of the 22 grands prix.

With Red Bull winning 21 overall, it saw driver and team ensure a comfortable title double.

Max Verstappen does not need to give PR view

As well as a force to be reckoned with on the track, Verstappen was also ruthless at times off it as well in F1 2023, never shying away from saying how he truly felt.

He continued to speak out against the presence of sprint races in Formula 1, six of those events held in F1 2023 with the same number planned for F1 2024, though his comments on the first Las Vegas Grand Prix arguably hit the hardest.

Verstappen made it clear that the glitz and glamour was not for him, going as far as to call it “99 per cent show, one per cent sport”, while also branding the Las Vegas Strip Circuit “National League” compared to the “Champions League” of Monaco in a brutal football/soccer reference.

Verstappen speaking his mind freely though is something which Red Bull principal Horner said they encourage. recommends

F1 race engineers: Who do we hear speaking to all 20 F1 drivers on team radio?

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

“We believe in our drivers having a freedom of choice,” he told

“They’re not robots, they have opinions. And Max has a voice as the World Champion and we don’t constrain him to give a PR view.

“He’s a very honest, young guy and he’ll tell you how he sees it. And I think that’s actually quite refreshing.

“He doesn’t enjoy all the razzmatazz that surrounds Formula 1, but he never has. He does his job professionally. He’s just an out-and-out racer and [has his] feet on the ground. And if he’s not racing here, he’ll be driving a GT car or racing online. He lives and breathes it.”

Verstappen will strive to become a four-time World Champion in F1 2024, an achievement which would see him equal Sebastian Vettel, who won four titles on the trot in Red Bull colours between 2010-13.

Sergio Perez will remain his team-mate, as he battles to earn himself a Red Bull contract extension.

Read next: Max Verstappen sets record straight on ‘only wins because of car’ argument

We’ve been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2024 Sports Podcast Awards! Your votes would be much appreciated and you can head here to cast. Thank you!