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Verstappen’s father in heated exchange with Christian Horner amid explosive call at Red Bull

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Jos Verstappen, the father of three-time reigning Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen, has claimed the Red Bull team would “explode” if team boss Christian Horner, recently cleared of accusations of “inappropriate behavior” towards a employee, remained on the job. his work.

“There is tension here while he (Horner) stays in position,” the former Dutch Formula 1 driver told the British newspaper Daily Mail in Sakhir, hours after his son’s Grand Prix triumph Bahrain’s season opener on Saturday.

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“The team risks tearing itself apart. Things cannot continue like this. It’s going to explode,” Verstappen said.

“He’s playing the victim, when he’s the one causing the problems.”

The father of the three-time reigning world champion spotted a heated exchange with Horner in the paddock this weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Red Bull announced last week that Horner had been cleared of any alleged inappropriate behavior following an internal investigation into complaints made against him, which he has always denied.

But the sending, shortly afterwards, of an anonymous e-mail, containing WhatsApp messages allegedly written by Hornerto journalists, motorsport officials and rival teams, reignited the affair.

Jos Verstappen has dismissed ideas circulating that he played a role in the allegations which originally surfaced in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

“It wouldn’t make any sense. Why should I do that when Max is doing so well here? he said.

Several teams denounced a lack of transparency during Red Bull’s internal investigation.

Horner, who was accompanied by his wife Geri Halliwell in Bahrain in a public show of supportreiterated after Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez won a Red Bull double during the season opener, the team was united.

“A double like this is the optimum and you will not achieve it without being absolutely united, without having a strong team and great support from partners and shareholders,” he said.

“We cannot achieve this without being united.”

Asked by Sky Sports if he was sure he had the support of Red Bull’s owners – including majority shareholder Chalerm Yoovidhya who was with him in Bahrain – and if he was sure he would be at the Grand Prix of Saudi Arabia next weekend, he responded with confidence.

“Support? Absolutely yes. And I’ll be there. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here!

The 50-year-old Briton has guided Red Bull to six constructors’ championship victories and seven drivers’ title triumphs since 2005.

Last year’s Red Bull car won a record 21 out of 22 races as the team dominated.

Jos Verstappen was also seen on several occasions speaking with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff in the paddock.

Mercedes has a vacant seat next season with Lewis Hamilton’s move to Ferrari, while Verstappen is under contract with Red Bull until 2028.

Max Verstappen was careful not to directly address Horner’s allegations.

“Look, when I look at how Christian operates within the team, he’s been an incredible team leader,” Verstappen said after qualifying in Bahrain.

“So absolutely, from a performance standpoint, you can’t even question that. So that’s what I’m dealing with as well.

“I talk to Christian a lot. And of course, throughout the weekend here, he is fully invested in the team.

“He’s also there for the performance, of course. Probably a little distracted.

“But as I said before, we only focus on the performance aspect. And that’s how we all work together.

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