Max Verstappen’s dad Jos warns Red Bull will ‘explode’ if Christian Horner stays as team boss

Verstappen Snr has blown the lid open on the situation at Red Bull involving Horner


Jos Verstappen, father of three-time Formula 1 champion and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, has sensationally called on Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to step down from his position given the ongoing scandal involving ‘inappropriate behaviour’ toward a female employee as the team risks being torn apart. 

Horner was initially cleared of any wrongdoing by Red Bull following a ‘fair, rigorous and impartial’ investigation by the team, but on February 29 a bombshell email dropped into the inbox of F1 supremos and journalists containing WhatsApp conversations and photos, allegedly between Horner and the female employee in question.

“There is tension here while he remains in position,” Jos Verstappen told the Daily Mail after the Bahrain GP.

“The team is in danger of being torn apart. It can’t go on the way it is. It will explode. He is playing the victim, when he is the one causing the problems.”

Jos Verstappen, Helmut Marko and Christian Horner look on as Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates in parc ferme after the 2023 Hungarian GP | Dan Mullan/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Jos Verstappen, Helmut Marko and Christian Horner look on as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen celebrates in parc ferme after the 2023 Hungarian GP | Dan Mullan/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

The chats in question contain images of the Red Bull boss repeatedly making unrequited advances on the female staff member before asking her to delete the chat to safeguard his own reputation, although it must be stressed that they are yet to be validated and proven authentic, but neither Horner nor Red Bull have denied their authenticity.

The Daily Mail also reports a tense confrontation between Jos Verstappen and Horner in the latter’s office after Friday’s qualifying session. The altercation, which ended with a reluctant handshake.

This came amid a backdrop of internal allegations from Horner suggesting Jos has been leading efforts to oust him, fuelled by the recent email leak scandal. Jos refutes these allegations, questioning the logic behind such actions given Max’s current success with the team.

“That wouldn’t make sense. Why would I do that when Max is doing so well here?” Jos Verstappen is reported as saying.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner and Geri Halliwell-Horner hold hands in the paddock ahead of the 2024 Bahrain GP | Clive Rose/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Horner’s show of solidarity

With the scandal taking over the paddock news-cycle, Horner‘s wife, Spice Girl Geri Halliwell flew into Bahrain and was seen walking into the paddock hand-in-hand with her husband.

The pair then had a number of meetings on the deck of the Red Bull hospitality area in full view of the world’s press before sharing a kiss as Horner went to take his place on the pit wall.

It was the first time the Spice Girl, who married Horner in 2015, has been seen in public with the under-fire team principal since the bombshell leak of a Google Drive of ‘evidence’ from the investigation.

Horner denies all accusations made by the female Red Bull employee and has repeatedly stated his innocence before, during and after the eight-week long investigation.

John Smith
Editor at and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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