Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Christian Horner, Red Bull RB20, 2024

Verstappen rejects claims of rift with Horner

Formula 1

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Max Verstappen has insisted his relationship with team principal Christian Horner is unchanged following speculation of a rift between the pair.

Horner is facing an investigation within the wider Red Bull operation regarding allegations relating to his conduct.

Verstappen, who has won the world championship for the last three years at Red Bull and is contracted to remain with them until 2028, rejected any suggestion the development had affected his relationship with Horner.

“It’s the same as always,” he told media including RaceFans at the team’s launch event yesterday. “I can tell you that.

“I don’t know who likes to write these kind of things, but between me and Christian it’s like always.”

It remains unclear how long the investigation into Horner, and the uncertainty surrounding his future, will last. Verstappen’s team mate Sergio Perez said the team is sticking together in the meantime.

“Obviously there are some things out there but the most important thing is we stay together as a team, we work well on the main goal, remembering that we are here for racing and that we love it and we just go racing together.”

“We know that Christian is a key player in our organisation,” he added.

“We just want to go racing. We are a race team and we want the whole team to stay together because we’ve been so successful. It would be ideal just to keep the whole team together and just focus on racing.”

Horner admitted the investigation has been a distraction for the team but insisted it was “business as normal” in their preparations for the new season.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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11 comments on “Verstappen rejects claims of rift with Horner”

  1. Note how this works. First the media earns money by spreading falsehoods and then they get to earn money again by correcting the falsehood that they or their colleagues spread.

    1. If there’s ever an accusation of any kind there’s no need to have an opinion on it. It’s best to be patient and wait until everyone has had their due process. So much of F1 “news” is just gossip and speculation. It’s not always possible, but an ideal resolution to conflict can be if everyone is satisfied to shake hands and resolve it so that they can work well together. If such a thing happens it may never be known what happened. Since it’s not my business I don’t care.

      1. As Perez said, it’s important to pull together. A team like this doesn’t exist forever and it’s not always easy to understand exactly what makes it so great. It’s not just Newey and not just Max. A lot of people who are enjoying winning and work very hard to do it. A lot has been said of Perez too. As far as I’m concerned, he’s a legend who’s given the team a lot. I hope that is appreciated and he can continue to be a lifetime ambassador for the team well into the future if he wants.

    2. and after the news cycle is over nobody will say anything…

      but, nobody cares what Max thinks, its Jos and Marko whom are under speculation. Dont forget Austria and Porsche. Mediocrity is creeping on RBR.

  2. Note he didnt say what same as always was in this quote. Perhaps he did in real life, but there is significant wiggle room there semantically.

    1. @Mog
      Not trying to be pedantic here, but since you’re the one who started to go in to semantics…
      Isn’t it irrelevant what ‘same as always’ actually entails? He’s responding to the alleged rift. A rift assumes a before and an after situation, otherwise you can’t speak of a rift. Claiming it is the ‘same as always’ inherently denies a rift. Doesn’t matter if their relationship was good or bad before, he claims it is the same now. So even bad before and bad now means no rift. He could be lying of course, but that is not what you implied with ‘wiggle room’.

    2. @baasbas, I get @Mog’s point and picked up the same on first reading. It could be ‘same as always’ excellent relationship or ‘same as always’ we tolerate each other. I’m not it matters though and also suspect any rift, if one existed, would probably pre-date the current allegations. TBH I’m lost about the whole thing, until this investigation story broke, I’d assumed everything was smooth running at Red Bull (leaving aside Marko’s Pérez comments last season and the well-known tension between the latter and the Verstappen clan).

  3. This whole thing smells of an attempt sabotage Red Bull’s dominance. Or just some internal power struggle using filthy Tacitus to undermine Horner.
    I find this whole story cheap and doubtful.

    1. It’s bad either way. If there’s substance to the story then I feel for the victim and also feel that it would be hugely disappointing behaviour from the alleged perpetrator. Or it’s indeed murkier and a way to lever out (or reduce the influence and power of) the man in big part responsible for the team’s monumental success. If so, would it make any sense? Because what would they be left with?

    2. To me it’s sounding more like this is stuff that’s been bubbling away for some time in one form or another (certainly Horner’s the sort of person who enjoys aggravating others, especially when he thinks he’s gotten away with something) and is starting to escape the cracks. The attempts to brush it off as “nothing” or nonsense like “sabotage” makes me think there’s potential for it to be worse then we think.

  4. what ever happens its clear that the leaks to the dutch media are a desperate move because they could not get it done with in the private confines of the corporate culture. And thus public speculation is required to facilitate. When it comes to texts and emails nothing is exactly true unless you can authenticate all the way back to the phone/email client. There are plenty of hackers who could have achieved this kind of sabotage by ‘owning’ Horner’s phone anyways. Thus, if anyone is ever truly abused or mistreated at work, it is ESSENTIAL to file a grievance with HR, as HR will not necessarily help the individual, it can be used as a legal basis in court, which is where this matter should be, and out of the public, but there are some at Red Bull who are too desperate to see Horner gone, this much is obvious.

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