Bringing You the Daily Dispatch

Verstappen supports Red Bull team like a second family and downplays any connections to Mercedes.
F1 Sport

Verstappen supports Red Bull team like a second family and downplays any connections to Mercedes.

Max Verstappen, the current Formula One champion, has expressed his support for Red Bull’s resolution regarding a grievance filed against team principal Christian Horner. The ordeal has not affected his attitude towards racing for the team.

Max Verstappen has been victorious in the first two races of the season, however, his wins at Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have been overshadowed by unconfirmed accusations made against Red Bull team principal Christian Horner by a female staff member.

Horner, who has denied the accusations, was cleared of misconduct but the unidentified woman lodged an appeal after her complaint was dismissed, British media reported last week, ensuring the controversy has continued to rumble on in the lead-up to Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.

Verstappen said he did not want to be too involved in off-track issues because his role was to worry about performing in the car. “But from what I know everything is handled in the right way,” the Dutchman said in the Albert Park paddock on Thursday.

“I will not provide any additional information from that perspective as I am not aware of any further details,” commented Verstappen. “Furthermore, I have no desire to know as that is not my role or responsibility within the team.”

The parent company of Formula One champions, Red Bull GmbH, has not issued a statement regarding the reports. However, they previously mentioned that the accuser has the right to appeal before the season began.

Verstappen, the three-time world champion for Red Bull, stated that the team’s internal conflicts did not affect his performance or his relationship with the team. However, he expressed a desire for the focus to shift back to their race results.

He commented that with the current state of affairs, it’s simple to get back in the car and excel in performance. He also mentioned the abundance of exceptional individuals in the garage who have remained consistent, evident by the team’s results.

“Could we have benefitted from discussing our car more? Likely so. However, we are focused on continuously improving our performance and achieving victories.”

After the Bahrain race, Jos Verstappen, a retired F1 racer and the father of Verstappen, expressed concern that Red Bull’s leadership under Horner could lead to internal conflicts. This has ignited worries that Verstappen might consider leaving the team before his contract ends in 2028.

Toto Wolff, team principal of Mercedes, expressed his desire to have Verstappen join his team if Lewis Hamilton leaves for Ferrari next season. In his response on Thursday, Verstappen did not completely dismiss the idea of joining Mercedes in the future, but mentioned that he is content with his current team Red Bull, which feels like his “second family.”

skip past newsletter promotion

Max Verstappen and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner at Albert Park.

Display image in full screen view

Verstappen acknowledged Mercedes’ interest and expressed appreciation for it. He also shared that he and Toto have had their confrontations, as expected from two teams vying for the championship, but there has always been mutual respect between them.

“I personally do not see any change. I am uncertain about my future in F1, whether I will continue to compete, or sign a new contract [with Red Bull]. But that is precisely why I initially signed the deal. I am content with the team and I plan to stay here until the end.”

Verstappen, who will equal his record of 10 straight wins with another victory this weekend, opened the door to sensationally quitting Red Bull if motorsport adviser Helmut Marko was forced out on the eve of the race in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago.

Verstappen emphasized the importance of retaining key team members for an extended duration as they are crucial to the team’s success. He acknowledged that his own performance is a factor in his current position.

This team is like a second family to me. Just like in any family, there may be occasional disagreements. While you cannot choose your family, you can choose your friends. Many individuals have played a part in the team’s success since the beginning, and that should be acknowledged.

Maintaining their unity, contentment, and current positions is crucial. However, our primary concern is their performance. I hope our chat can revolve around the exceptional qualities of our car, although it may take time for that to happen.

Source: theguardian.com