Lewis Hamilton barb at Jos Verstappen amid Horner Red Bull debacle

Red Bull dispute involving Jos Verstappen and Christian Horner continues to dominate headlines

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As Formula 1 heads to Jeddah for the second round of the 2024 season, the dispute between Christian Horner and Jos Verstappen, the father of World Champion Max Verstappen, is ongoing with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton dismissing the former’s opinion of the internal workings at Red Bull.

Following the leak of alleged text messages between Horner and a female member of staff at Red Bull, Jos Verstappen expressed the view that Horner’s position as team principal was untenable. Verstappen has further sparked rumours that his son could leave the team.

Ahead of the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was asked by the media for his thoughts on the current situation at Red Bull. Hamilton emphasised whilst that he was unaware of any details, he didn’t believe that Jos Verstappen’s involvement in the situation was helpful.

“At the end of the day, he’s not a part of the team,” said Hamilton. “He’s a parent. So it’s just an opinion, but it’s definitely not helpful.”

Max Verstappen and Jos Verstappen ahead of 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen and Jos Verstappen ahead of 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Easy to be misled

The Mercedes driver elaborated on the topic of the involvement of a parent in their child’s career. Hamilton stated that it can be a difficult dichotomy to manage. 

“I think it is a very thin line to walk,” Hamilton continued. “I think it’s also dependent on your relationship with your parent.

“You meet some people who’ve got great relationships with their parents, and they’ve been amazing parents, and then you’ve got people that have had bad relationships and it’s not necessarily parents that have been good to them.

“And so I don’t know about [Verstappen’s] relationships, obviously, you hear things here and there, but I think Max is a grown man and he’s a champion and I’m sure can make his own decisions.”

However, Hamilton added that drivers can easily be led astray, though he doesn’t believe this to be the case with Verstappen, it can still be difficult to manage a business relationship with a parent.

Max Verstappen makes his final preparations in the Red Bull garage on day one of 2024 F1 pre-season testing before driving out onto the Bahrain International Circuit | Mark Thompson/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“I think in our world, as drivers, it’s very, very easy to be misled by people whispering in your ear and perhaps not guiding you the right way,” Hamilton said.

“I’ve experienced it, just when you sometimes don’t have the right guidance around you, it leads to you either making the wrong decisions or not being able to perhaps be the best at what you do.”

Will Max Verstappen leave Red Bull?

It’s rumoured that an exit clause exists in Verstappen’s contract that would allow the Dutchman to depart Red Bull should Helmut Marko leave the team. 

Recent interactions between Jos Verstappen and Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff have led to whisperings that Verstappen could head to the German team for 2025, taking the seat of the outgoing Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen is yet to rule out the possibility of a move to Mercedes indicating that anything is possible in the world of Formula 1.

Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsport in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. She has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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