F1 Notes: Jos Verstappen, Christian Horner Feud Just Won't Go Away

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Jos Verstappen, Horner Feud Just Won't Go AwayClive Rose - Getty Images

The ongoing feud between Max Verstappen's father Jos Verstappen and Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner may seem tiresome—two men in their 50s bickering, and team advisor Helmut Marko occasionally adding fuel to the fire—but with Max Verstappen in the center of the picture, it remains an important subplot to the 2024 season.

Jos was due to drive a Red Bull RB8 in this past weekend's Legends’ Parade, organized annually at the Austrian Grand Prix, but this was nixed, with Jos claiming Horner intervened, an aspect Horner denied.

Max Verstappen has a Red Bull contract through 2028, and remains insistent he will fullfil it, but it is understood that there are clauses in the contract should he wish to leave. The three-time champion has so far been loyal to Marko, and his father, and importantly his comments on Saturday echoed his usual stance.

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Former Austrian Formula 1 driver Patrick Friesacher—and not Jose Verstappen—drives a Red Bull RB8 from 2012 during a parade at the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 29.Guenther Iby - Getty Images

Jos Verstappen, on the other hand, has suggested that this year's drama with Red Bull and in particular accusations of Horner's inappropriate behavior could lead to the downfall of the team and Max's exit.


“Naturally of course it's not nice, I think not for myself, not for my dad, not for Christian, not for the team,” Verstappen said. “Of course you don’t want these things to happen. I think my dad has been quite clear about the reason behind it [the demo run being abandoned], and of course I can understand his opinion on that. At the end of the day, he gets asked to drive the car, finds out that he’s not wanted to drive the car while my dad, he actually doesn’t care about driving the car, but he got asked and said please do it for the fans, Dutch fans.

"Red Bull, we have a great relationship with, home track. So I understand. On the other hand, I’m here to focus on the performance side of things, so I want a good relationship with everyone. But of course this scenario could have been avoided, yep.”

The toxic atmosphere between various factions within Red Bull Racing shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

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Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff admits he may have gotten a little too excited during George Russell’s run to the win in Austria. Kym Illman - Getty Images

Wolff: Radio Message to Russell ‘Embarrassing’

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff became rather animated during Sunday’s race in the wake of the collision between Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.

Realizing George Russell was suddenly up front, after a length barren spell for Mercedes, Austrian Wolff got on the radio and implored “you can win this!” with such enthusiasm that Russell joked it almost caused him to crash.

“I think I know the drivers pretty well and what they need at times to encourage or to refocus, because I spend so much time with them,” Wolff said. “I think I know their psychology. But this one is the single dumbest thing I’ve done in 12 years at Mercedes. I will be forever ashamed because you look at where you message the driver and you don’t do it during braking. Or in high-speed corners. But I didn’t look on the GPS I just saw these two taking each other out and we anticipated it, and then just emotionally pressed the button and said ‘we can win this’.

"I could have taken him out with that message! Imagine how that could have felt. I’m emotional. I enjoy us doing well and I enjoy seeing Lewis and George doing well. I was just carried away with that situation, but seriously, embarrassing.”