Red Bull team will 'explode' if Christian Horner stays in job, says Jos Verstappen

Christian Horner put the matter behind him

Red Bull team will 'explode' if Christian Horner stays in job, says Jos Verstappen

Christian Horner put the matter behind him. The historic director of the Red Bull Formula 1 team was cleared on Wednesday February 28, by an internal investigation, of accusations of “inappropriate behavior” towards an employee. During the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first of the season, on Saturday, its drivers, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, took victory and second place. Enough to give him hope that this issue will no longer poison a world championship for which the Austrian armada has great ambitions. It is clear that this is not the case.

A few hours after his son's victory on the Sakhir circuit, Jos Verstappen protested, telling the Daily Mail that the team would "explode" if the Briton kept his job. “There is tension as long as he stays in place,” asserted the former Dutch driver. We can't continue like this. » The words are harsh and unequivocal towards Mr Horner, 50: “He is playing the victim, when he is the one causing the problems. »

Despite his "acquittal", in his words, the Red Bull boss had already had to face, at the end of the week, several teams who deplored a lack of transparency during the internal procedure. In question, the press release from his employer, most laconic, without any details on the merits of the case. “The investigation report is confidential and contains private information about the parties and third parties who participated in the investigation,” the Austrian firm argued at the time.

“We do not know everything that happened, but we must resolve this problem, because it weighs” on the whole of Formula 1, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton said on Wednesday. And the Mercedes driver insists on the “very important” nature of this episode and the need to remain “faithful [to] values”. “There will still be a lot of speculation, as a lot of questions remain unanswered about the whole process. And that’s what those who run the sport need to be able to really draw a line under it,” said Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren.

Especially since, on Thursday, an anonymous email, sent to journalists covering Formula 1, to motorsport officials and competing teams, had relaunched the affair, even if its content – ​​notably WhatsApp messages allegedly written by Christian Horner – could not be independently verified.

“Not much will happen.”

The accusations against the Briton were revealed at the beginning of February when a first article appeared in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. Asked by the Daily Mail about the origin of the information leaked to the media, Jos Verstappen denied any involvement: “It doesn’t make sense. Why would I do that when Max is doing so well here? »

His son, three-time reigning world champion and current Formula 1 star, has until now been relatively discreet about this affair. “If the team boss disappears for whatever reason during one or two races, not much will happen, because everyone knows what he has to do,” he said on Wednesday. Things will obviously start to change if one of the leaders is no longer there, but we don't think about that. »

Christian Horner, married to ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, who was present alongside him on Saturday at the Bahrain Grand Prix, has always denied the facts with which he was accused. After the race, he said he was convinced that his position was not threatened: “A comprehensive and lengthy internal procedure was conducted, and the grievance raised was rejected. End of the story. »