Jos Verstappen warns Red Bull will be ‘torn apart’ amid Christian Horner controversy

Jos Verstappen warns Red Bull will be 'torn apart' amid Christian Horner controversy

Jos Verstappen has commented on the ongoing controversy surrounding Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Father of triple Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen, Jos Verstappen, has cautioned the Red Bull Formula 1 team that they could be “torn apart” if Christian Horner stays in his role.

The future surrounding Horner has cast a shadow on the season-opening Grand Prix. The 50-year-old Brit was exonerated earlier this week following allegations that he had behaved inappropriately toward a female employee.

Verstappen Sr. made these remarks after an internal investigation found Horner to be clear of any misconduct. The Red Bull boss refuted the allegations, and has since reaffirmed his denial. However, after the Dutchman’s critical remarks—whose son has secured three world titles with Red Bull—the situation has taken a further twist.

A day after Red Bull dismissed the investigation, a series of purportedly confidential messages and images shared between Horner and the unidentified colleague were leaked.

On Thursday, several journalists and key figures in the sport received access to the purported WhatsApp texts and images. Spice Girl singer Geri Halliwell, Horner’s wife, is rumored to have been humiliated by the purported messages and images.

Halliwell flew to Bahrain to support her husband for the Bahrain Grand Prix as they put up a unified appearance. Horner reaffirmed his dedication to Red Bull despite his refusal to address the leaked messages.

However, Verstappen’s father Jos has since expressed his opinion on the matter, raising concerns that the team would be “torn apart.”

“There is tension here while he remains in position,” Jos told The Mail. “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.”

Additionally, reports state that Verstappen Sr. and Horner got into a heated argument in his office following Friday night’s qualifying. It is reported that the Dutchman stormed out of the meeting, only to come back in and agree shaking hands.

Verstappen Sr. also refuted reports that he is spearheading an effort to oust Horner from the team.

“That wouldn’t make sense,” he added. “Why would I do that when Max is doing so well here?”

Jos Verstappen raced in Formula 1 for eight seasons from the 1990s and early 2000s. Being the father of the current world champion Max, who made a winning start to his 2024 campaign in Bahrain, he is still a regular in the paddock on racedays.

As Horner tries to move past one of the most turbulent weeks in recent F1 history, Verstappen Sr.’s remarks will be devastating.

“I will not comment on anonymous speculation, but to reiterate I have always denied the allegations,” Horner’s Thursday statement read. “I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully cooperated with it every step of the way.

“It was a thorough and fair investigation conducted by an independent specialist barrister, and it has concluded dismissing the complaint made. I remain fully focused on the start of the season.”

Speaking to Sky Sports, he insisted that he would be on the pit wall for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix the next weekend.

“Absolutely,” Horner said “I’ve always been confident I’ll be here.”

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