No reason to leave Red Bull F1 team despite father’s Horner fears

The Dutchman’s place at the Milton Keynes-based squad has been the subject of intense speculation in recent days after his father Jos publicly criticised team principal Horner and called for him to go.

That even fuelled speculation that Verstappen’s management could be looking for a way out of his current contract, with Mercedes an option as the German manufacturer hunts for a replacement for Lewis Hamilton.

Facing the media in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, however, Verstappen played down talk of any personal unease he had with the situation at Red Bull, as he made clear he did not want to get too involved in the politics surrounding the situation inside the team.

Asked if he was sure that he would see out his Red Bull contract, which runs until 2028, Verstappen said: “That has, of course, always been the intention of signing. That’s why we signed so long to be here.

“And of course, it’s about the performance of the car and from 2026 onwards, that is a bit of a question mark with new regulations.

“But I knew that, when I signed my contract, I also know what they have done for me in my career, right? So yeah, the intention is, of course, absolutely, to stay with this team, because I really enjoy it.

“And I’m also really happy within the team. So as long as we perform there is no reason also to leave.”

Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Race winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

While Mercedes has clear interest in capturing Verstappen, it has admitted that his future will almost certainly be decided by choosing the best car – which Red Bull has at the moment.

But interestingly Verstappen said he could not completely rule out the possibility of ever joining the Three Pointed Star.

“I think no one would have ever realised or seen that Lewis would move to Ferrari,” he said.

“In life in general, you never know what happens or what comes to you, or whatever happens around you, or what might influence you.

“So you can never say 100%, that’s how it’s going to be. I approach my life like that.

“But I also don’t think about it too much. I’m very relaxed. Like I said, I’m very happy with the team. The performance is there. There’s no reason to leave.”

Not taking sides

Verstappen had spent the last few days in Dubai with his father Jos and manager Raymond Vermeulen, so is well aware of the latest developments since a turbulent Bahrain GP weekend.

And while the situation was inflamed by Verstappen Sr’s strong remarks, the world champion insists it was not for him to get involved or choose a side.

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing with Jos Verstappen

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing with Jos Verstappen

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Asked if he agreed with his father’s assessment that Red Bull risked being torn apart if Horner stayed, Verstappen said: “I don’t know. I mean, I hope not…. It shouldn’t be.

“It’s a strong company, strong team. A lot of strong team members. So normally not.”

And while well aware of the controversy that Verstappen Sr’s remarks caused, he did not want to waste too much time poring over them.

“We’re a team: it’s me, my dad and Raymond all together,” he said. “That will always be like that, also.

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“I guess he could have felt like that but I think from my side, it doesn’t matter being on one side or the other side.

“Of course, as a son of my dad, it would be weird to be on a different side. But from my side, I just want to focus on the performance side of things.

“I just want to have less talk of what we are doing as a team outside of the track, rather than the actual performance.”

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