Max Verstappen breaks silence on latest Jos Verstappen bust-up with Christian Horner

Another reported rift has emerged between Max Verstappen's father, Jos, and Red Bull boss Horner ahead of the Austrian GP

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Max Verstappen has broken his silence on the reported bust-up between his father Jos Verstappen and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner ahead of the Formula 1 2024 Austrian Grand Prix.

It has been reported that Horner stepped in to block Jos, 52, from driving in the ‘Legends Parade’ at the Red Bull Ring ahead of Sunday’s race – a claim he has since denied. Red Bull’s parent company had organised for Verstappen’s father to drive their Red Bull RB8 in the parade, but Horner took issue with it and questioned the decision internally.

Red Bull have since responded insisting that Horner didn’t block Jos from driving, but it appears he took issue with Verstappen Snr representing their brand and he later decided to withdraw from the event.

After winning the F1 Sprint on Saturday, Max Verstappen was asked for his opinion on the disagreement and admitted he “understands” why his father was upset.

“Of course it’s not nice. Not for myself, not for my dad, not for Christian, not for the team… because you don’t want these things to happen,” Verstappen told the media at the Red Bull Ring, including Total-Motorsport.com.

“I think my dad has been quite clear about the reason behind it, and of course I can understand his opinion on that.

Jos Verstappen and Red Bull Consultant Dr Helmut Marko at the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“At the end of the day, he gets asked to drive the car, finds out that he’s not wanted to drive the car. My dad actually doesn’t care about driving the car but he got asked and they said ‘Please do it for the fans and the Dutch fans blah, blah Red Bull we have a great relationship, it’s the home track’.

“So I understand. At the other end, I’m here to focus on the performance side of things so I want a great relationship with everyone. But this scenario could have been avoided.”

Jos Verstappen-Horner bust-up explained

A report from Dutch publication De Telegraaf quoted Verstappen Snr saying that Horner had done “everything” to stop him participating, even going as far as trying not to have the event filmed.

“In recent days, I have heard from several sides that Christian Horner has done everything to not let me drive. And otherwise to make sure that nothing would be filmed,” Verstappen Snr said. “Then I think, ‘Say it in my face’. This way, it doesn’t have to be for me. I find it very disappointing.”

Jos, a former F1 driver, has been at odds with Horner since allegations surfaced in February relating to Horner’s ‘inappropriate behaviour’. Horner, 50, was later cleared following an independent investigation and remained in his role, despite being urged to resign by Verstappen Snr.

It came at the same time that Verstappen Snr met with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff to discuss a shock potential switch in 2025, only for their hopes faded after a poor start to the season.

But their latest spat – which came before Horner joked that “Jos might be available” to go to Mercedes if they “wanted to have a Verstappen in the car next year”, could come back to bite him.

Joe Krishnan
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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