What does Max Verstappen’s failure to respond to his father’s Christian Horner comments say?

Max Verstappen is keeping his distance from a potential feud between his father and Christian Horner after Verstappen Sr’s recent comments on the Red Bull team principal.

Horner faced allegations of inappropriate behaviour but was cleared by an internal investigation. However, just 24 hours after being cleared by Red Bull, messages allegedly between Horner and a female colleague were leaked.

And after opening race weekend of the season in the Bahrain – a grand prix in which Verstappen comfortably won – his father, Jos Verstappen, questioned Horner’s position. “There is tension here while he remains in position,” Jos told the Daily 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.”

With the focus firmly on Horner and not on Red Bull’s impressive performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix, BBC Sport have reported that Verstappen Jr had seen his father’s comments but didn’t say anything, keeping quiet and avoiding to comment on the feud that has escalated.

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Red Bull released a statement after Jos, who clashed with Horner in Bahrain, made the comments to reaffirm that the team are united in their approach. A Red Bull spokesperson told PA: “There are no issues here. The team are united and we are focused on racing.”

Meanwhile, Horner said after the race in Bahrain that the team would not have achieved what they did if there was a divided camp. 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.”

Christian Horner speaking with Jos Verstappen

Christian Horner speaking with Jos Verstappen 
Getty Images)

“Obviously it’s not been pleasant, the unwanted attention,” Horner added. “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.”

Despite his position being called into question, Horner is convinced he will remain at Red Bull throughout the season. He said: “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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