Christian Horner bemoans ‘trying time’ after investigation, leak, suspension and Jos Verstappen fight

Christian Horner faces renewed scrutiny over the Red Bull investigation into his behaviour as team principal

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Christian Horner admitted it’s been a trying time battling rumours around his investigation for ‘inappropriate and controlling behaviour’ and continued to deny all wrongdoing after his female accuser was suspended by Red Bull.

Horner also accused Jos Verstappen of being too involved with Red Bull after Max Verstappen‘s father called for the team principal to resign in the wake of allegations of ‘inappropriate and controlling behaviour’ by a female employee.

Max claimed top spot in FP1 at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix but Jos wasn’t there to witness it at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, after his private row with Horner in Bahrain went public as he urged the boss to step down.

It’s thought that Verstappen‘s representatives are speaking to Mercedes for a potential switch for 2025 – with his contract allowing him to leave if Helmut Marko departs the team – but Horner is confident his start driver will remain until his deal expires in 2028.

“It’s obviously been a very trying period,” Horner told the media in Saudi Arabia. “I’m married and have three children. And when that intrusion includes your children, and the scrutiny that is placed on my marriage… I’m very fortunate that I have a beautiful family and a very supportive wife. And I’m the only one that has been named in this.

“So of course it’s very trying, it’s very challenging. Because when there’s children involved, when there’s families, parents, etc, involved, it’s not pretty.”

Horner added he was unable to comment on the suspension of the team employee who made the accusations. But he was also asked if he has any regrets over the saga for causing reputational damage to Red Bull and F1:

“There’s been an awful lot of, coverage surrounding this. But one has to go back to the basis of: a grievance was raised, it was fully investigated, and it was dismissed. And from there, we move onwards, and I think an awful lot has been made out of this,” Horner said.

“It has been obviously of great interest in different elements of the media for different reasons. I think the time now is to look forward and to draw a line under it.

“We’re here to go racing, we’re here as an F1 team and the time now is to focus on what is going on out on track and the performance of the cars and the drivers and where the spotlight should be during the course of a grand prix weekend.”

Horner: Max is his own man

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

Horner received a show of support from the Yoovidhya family that owns the majority of Red Bull GmbH – the F1 team’s parent company – at the 2024 Bahrain GP but reports continue on the scale of the civil war at Red Bull Racing.

“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.”

And with Marko potentially holding the keys to Max Verstappen‘s continued presence at Red Bull and potentially aligned more closely with Jos than Horner, the team principal was asked whether Max‘s father is too involved at the team.

“Obviously, Max‘s father has played a key role in his career and getting him to F1,” Horner added. “But obviously Jos is own man, Max is his own man as well. And we’ve seen him go from being a teenager when he joined us to now very much a young man that’s achieved what he has.

“So you know, it’s not for me to comment on relationships between between fathers and drivers. They’re all unique between the different individuals.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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