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Christian Horner 'certain' Max Verstappen will stay at Red Bull after agreeing to 'move on' from Jos Verstappen dispute

Max Verstappen's father Jos Verstappen said at the Bahrain Grand Prix that Red Bull were "in danger of being torn apart" if Christian Horner remained as team principal; watch qualifying on Friday at 5pm on Sky Sports F1; Saudi Arabian GP on Saturday at 5pm

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Following comments from Max Verstappen's father Jos Verstappen, Red Bull boss Christian Horner says the trio have agreed to move on for the season ahead

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says he is "certain" Max Verstappen will remain with the team until the end of his contract, after agreeing "to move on" following a public dispute with the world champion's father, Jos Verstappen.  

The former F1 driver said at last weekend's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix that the team was "in danger of being torn apart" if Horner remained in his role.

Jos Verstappen's comments came after allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against Horner by a female colleague had been dismissed following an investigation launched by the F1 team's parent company Red Bull GmbH.

Horner, who denied the allegations throughout the external investigation, came under renewed pressure in Bahrain when material purporting to be the alleged evidence in the investigation into his conduct was leaked to numerous media organisations and F1 team principals from an anonymous email account.

The fallout from Jos Verstappen's comments saw his son, who began his quest for a fourth successive drivers' title with a dominant win in Bahrain, linked with a move to Mercedes before his contract expires in 2028.

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Horner was spotted talking to Jos Verstappen in the paddock at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Footage courtesy of Sky Italy

"I spoke to Jos following the grand prix, and obviously congratulated him on his son's performance," Horner said in a press conference ahead of Saturday's Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, at which Jos Verstappen is not present.

"And I think it's in everybody's interest, collectively, that we've agreed to move on, to focus on the future.

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"We both have a vested interest in his son, to get the best and provide the best cars for him and to get the best out of him, and he's started the season in the best possible way.

"He's an outstanding talent and hopefully we can continue to provide him with a very competitive car."

Verstappen said on Wednesday that while he intends to see out his contract with the team, he couldn't completely rule out a future switch to Mercedes.

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Max Verstappen responds after being questioned on his future and whether he sees himself staying at Red Bull

Asked if he expects Verstappen to remain with Red Bull until 2028, Horner said: "I'm certain that he will. I mean, he's got a great team around him, he's got great faith in that team, and we've achieved an awful lot together.

"He's committed to an agreement until 2028, and from a team side, from Max's side, we're determined to build on the success that we've that we've achieved already."

Horner also confirmed that, as previously reported by Sky Sports News, he had talks with Verstappen's camp earlier this week. Those talks came after video emerged of Horner engaged in conversation with Jos Verstappen in the Red Bull motorhome during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.

Horner: Others have looked to take advantage of situation

The Red Bull employee who raised the grievance against Horner has been suspended from her role with the company, according to the PA news agency. The complainant retains the right to appeal the dismissal of the grievance.

Horner, as he did in Bahrain, reiterated that he is unable to comment on details of the investigation. He also said he could not comment on the complainant's reported suspension from Red Bull.

"I think it's a complicated issue, because each company and these companies will be exactly the same, as with any other major company, that there is a grievance process that takes place in any company and that process is confidential between the individuals and the company itself," Horner said.

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Christian Horner reacts to calls for transparency after the Red Bull team principal was investigated for inappropriate behaviour.

"I'm not at liberty, unfortunately, due to those confidentiality and out of respect to the company and of course, the other party… that we're all bound by the same restrictions. And so even if I would like to talk about it, I can't because of those confidentiality restrictions."

Horner, who is F1's longest serving team boss having been in charge at Red Bull since 2005, also appeared to criticise others from within the sport for attempting "to take advantage" of the situation.

"The only reason that this has gained so much attention, obviously, is because of the leakage and the tension that there's been drawn in the media, which has been very trying in many respects and particularly for my family, because it's all been focused very much in one direction," Horner said.

"And of course, what has happened then after that, others have looked to take advantage of it. And whether that be for… unfortunately Formula 1 is a competitive business and, and there's been, obviously, elements who've looked to benefit from it, and that's perhaps the not so pretty side of our industry."

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Team bosses Toto Wolff and Zak Brown have called for more 'transparency' over the investigation into allegations against Christian Horner which have been dismissed. The complainant has the right to appeal the verdict.

On the same day after the grievance against Horner was dismissed last week, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff and McLaren chief executive Zak Brown both called for greater "transparency" and for the FIA and Formula 1 to gather further information around the situation.

Neither of the organisations that are responsible for the running and governance of the sport have made official comment regarding Horner since the outcome of the investigation was announced.

Horner added: "So, of course, there are always lessons but there's a process that is that is governed within the company that it's not an FIA issue, it's not a Formula 1 issue, it's a company-employee issue and that would be the same in any major organisation."

Sky Sports F1's live Saudi Arabian GP schedule

Saudi GP schedule

Friday March 8

  • 11.55am: F1 Academy Race 1
  • 1.10pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice Three (session starts at 1.30pm)
  • 3.05pm: F2 Sprint Race
  • 4.10pm: Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying build-up

Saturday March 9

  • 12pm: F1 Academy Race 2
  • 1.20pm: F2 Feature Race
  • 3.30pm: Saudi Arabian GP build-up: Grand Prix Saturday
  • 7pm: Saudi Arabian GP reaction: Chequered flag
  • 9.30pm: Saudi Arabian GP highlights

Watch the second round of the new F1 season - the Saudi Arabian GP - live on Sky Sports F1 this coming week, with qualifying on Friday and the race at 5pm on Saturday. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership for just £21 a month for 12 months

Anthony Joshua's heavyweight showdown with Francis Ngannou takes place on Friday March 8, live on Sky Sports Box Office with the main event expected around 11pm. Book Joshua v Ngannou now!

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