Red Bull’s shocking statement after Max Verstappen’s father targeted Christian Horner

Red Bull insist they are a “united team” despite Max Verstappen‘s father, Jos, suggesting they could be “torn apart” by the Christian Horner scandal.

The team principal was cleared of inappropriate behaviour allegations by an internal investigation before messages were leaked to the press, allegedly between Horner and a female member of staff. As a result, questions still hung over the team heading into the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

It was business as usual for Red Bull, who saw Verstappen take pole position and the race win with Sergio Perez completing a 1-2. However, their success came amid continued questions and comments from some of the sport’s leading figures.

Jos, who reportedly clashed with Horner in Bahrain, has claimed: “There is tension here while he (Horner) remains in position. 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.”

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However a Red Bull spokesperson has put those suggestions to bed as they told PA: “There are no issues here. The team are united and we are focused on racing.”

Verstappen put in a dominant performance on Saturday despite hints that their rivals, the likes of Ferrari and Mercedes, might close the gap on the world champions. Horner insists a divided camp wouldn’t have been able to achieve what they did in Bahrain. He said: “We are a very strong team. We have got tremendous support, tremendous partners and great shareholders behind us as well. You don’t achieve this kind of result by not being united.”

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The Red Bull boss also added: “Obviously it’s not been pleasant, the unwanted attention,” Horner said. “But the focus is now very much on the cars. My focus has very much been on what’s going on on-track and the result today I think demonstrates where the whole team’s focus is and we move onwards.”

Horner was quizzed on the leaked material but had little interest in engaging. He claimed that he cannot comment on what he described as “anonymous speculative messages from an unknown source”. Pressed further, he said: “They are from an unknown source which I’m not going to comment on. So, next question.”

The Red Bull boss is entirely convinced he’ll retain his role throughout the season as he added: “There was a full lengthy internal process that was completed by an independent KC [King’s Counsel] and the grievance that was raised was dismissed. End of. Move on. I’ve always been entirely confident that I would be here. My focus is on the season ahead and the races we have ahead.”

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