Max Verstappen defends dad Jos in Christian Horner row: He’s not a liar

Jos Verstappen and Christian Horner are at odds within the Red Bull team

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Max Verstappen is yet to speak with his father Jos Verstappen about public comments he made concerning Red Bull team principal Christian Horner, but insisted his dad is “not a liar” as the feud between the pair rumbles on.

Verstappen has been put in awkward position after Jos called for Horner to leave the team and reportedly met with Mercedes to discuss a possible switch for the three-time world champion in 2025. It came just days after Horner was cleared by the team following an investigation into allegations made against him by a female Red Bull employee.

Verstappen Sr was quoted telling the Daily Mail that the negative publicity from Horner’s investigation is “driving the team apart” and launched a scathing personal attack on the Red Bull supremo, accusing him of acting like a “victim”.

The pair were then spotted having a heated discussion at the Bahrain Grand Prix at the team’s temporary headquarters. With the row spilling into the Saudi Arabian GP in Jeddah this weekend, Verstappen was quizzed about whether he had verified if his father’s public attack on Horner was true.

The 26-year-old replied: “I haven’t asked him that. Of course, I know him and he’s always very outspoken. He’s not a liar, that’s for sure, and for myself, that’s what I can say about things.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull in the Paddock ahead of 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen of Red Bull in the Paddock ahead of 2024 Saudi Arabian GP | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“The only one who knows that is my dad himself, right? You know people will start making up stuff or speculate, or they think that they know why he said certain kinds of things, but at the end of the day, he is the only one [that knows].

“That’s what social media is for, for writers to speculate and make up stuff, and there’s not much I can do with that. To be honest, I’m not angry about it because I know what my dad is, and what he is like.”

Verstappen wants peace

The situation puts Verstappen in a tough position because he has risen to the summit of F1 under Horner’s watch, with the 50-year-old boss instrumental in promoting him from Toro Rosso at the age of 18 back in 2016. Since then, he has won 55 races and three consecutive titles.

But Verstappen‘s comments suggested that, even with their tense relationship sometimes flaring up, he would support his father in any civil war between the pair – and hinted they should try to make amends before the situation spirals out of control.

“My dad and I, we are very close. We call every day, even if he’s not around,” Verstappen added.

“But at the other end, I’m not the guy who likes to speak a lot about certain stuff and I just want to focus on the driving better. If there are any issues, we try to always resolve it within within the team.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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