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Jos Verstappen warns that the ongoing Christian Horner controversy could potentially cause severe division within Red Bull.
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Jos Verstappen warns that the ongoing Christian Horner controversy could potentially cause severe division within Red Bull.

The current leadership of Christian Horner is once again being questioned, as Max Verstappen’s father, Jos, has expressed concerns that if the team principal stays in his position, Red Bull may face severe internal conflicts.

On Saturday evening, Horner expressed his unwavering belief that he will continue as the Red Bull team leader for the rest of the Formula One season. This came after Verstappen’s victory at the first race in Bahrain, with teammate Sergio Pérez finishing in second place.

In the past few weeks, Horner’s work has been under immense examination due to accusations made by a woman he works with. Horner has consistently denied these allegations.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Verstappen Sr expressed his beliefs, stating that as long as [Horner] remains in charge, there will be ongoing tension within the team. He believes that if things continue to unfold as they have been, it will ultimately result in the team falling apart. He also mentioned that [Horner] is attempting to portray himself as the victim, when in reality, he is the one causing the issues.

Max Verstappen’s father, Verstappen Sr, has been alleged to be working against Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull. However, the 51-year-old father of the three-time world champion has stated that it would not be logical for him to do such a thing when his son is performing phenomenally with the team.

The debate over the Red Bull team leader, who was cleared by a third-party investigation of accusations of misconduct by a female staff member, but was implicated in a leaked email chain revealing supposed conversations between him and the accuser, was the main focus during the first week of the season.

Toto Wolff, the head of the Mercedes team, along with other team leaders, have requested for the investigation led by Horner to be open and transparent. This viewpoint is reportedly shared by the FIA (the governing body of the sport) and F1 Management (the owners of the sport). Both Red Bull and Horner have confirmed that they will not disclose any details, results or conclusions from the investigation, citing confidentiality as the reason.

Wolff has consistently supported diversity and inclusion in the sport, and has stressed the need to address these issues beyond the realm of F1 politics in order to protect the sport’s reputation.

If I continue to question the handling of this situation, it may ultimately do more harm than good. It could be perceived as a power struggle within F1, rather than addressing the larger issue at hand. The responsibility does not lie with the teams, as this is a much larger topic. I do not want to downplay the severity of the situation by framing it as a conflict between individuals from different teams such as Mercedes, McLaren, and Red Bull.

“Let’s observe the situation in the coming days, and I truly hope that the governing body and commercial rights holder make appropriate changes.”

According to Wolff, Red Bull and Verstappen Jr are on a different level from their competitors after the Dutch driver dominated the first race of the season.

Max Verstappen cruised to victory in Sakhir, Bahrain.

Unable to reword.

Wolff made a noteworthy statement, conceding that after only one race of the season which will continue until mid-December and includes 23 more events, Verstappen is almost impossible to catch up to.

At the Sakhir track, the 26-year-old reigning champion showed his dominance by finishing 22 seconds ahead of his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez, who also drove with the same equipment. Verstappen dominated the race, leading every lap and facing no competition after successfully keeping his pole position into the first turn of the first lap. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz trailed in third place, 25 seconds behind the top two.

During the race, Verstappen had a significant advantage of one second per lap compared to the other racers. This unexpected success of the Red Bull car left the other teams struggling to keep up.

Wolff stated that Max is not just in a higher league, but in an entirely different universe of performance, which is exceptional.

During the previous season, Red Bull emerged victorious in 21 out of 22 races, with Verstappen taking the top spot in 19 of those races. When questioned about whether the three-time reigning champion could achieve a perfect record and win every race, Wolff concurred that with their current strong performance, it was highly plausible, given the noticeable superiority of the Red Bull.

“Regrettably, that is correct,” he remarked. “We simply must recognize that his performance is exceptional.”

In his final year with Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton finished in seventh place after starting from ninth on the grid. Meanwhile, his teammate George Russell moved up from third to fifth. The Mercedes vehicle has shown improvement from its previous versions but still has room for growth, according to the drivers.

Wolff conceded that the team faced challenges with the engine-cooling, resulting in them having to reduce their performance, and acknowledged that Mercedes has little chance of catching up to Red Bull.

“I think our struggles overshadowed our performance,” he stated. “Pérez is trailing his teammate by 20 seconds, giving us some hope. However, it is a faint glimmer and quite distant. It’s difficult for me to see that far ahead.”

Source: theguardian.com