Red Bull's Christian Horner: If Toto Wolff Wants a Verstappen, Hire Jos

f1 grand prix of austria practice  sprint qualifying
Horner: If Toto Wolff Wants a Verstappen, Hire JosKym Illman - Getty Images
  • Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen is under contract with Red Bull to drive for the team through 2028.

  • Verstappen doubled down on Thursday, insisting that he has a contract and is staying with Red Bull.

  • That hasn't stopped Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff from openly courting Verstappen to drive for Mercedes next season.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner is getting pretty tired of Mercedes’ constant advances towards Max Verstappen.

Verstappen is under contract to Red Bull Racing through 2028 but his future was called into question earlier in the year amid the off-track saga that surrounded Horner and Red Bull.


Mercedes, which has a vacancy for 2025 after Lewis Hamilton’s exit, has suggested regularly that the door is open if Verstappen wants a move.

Verstappen doubled down on Thursday, insisting that he has a contract and is staying with Red Bull Racing, and also appeared tired by the questions.

Horner backed his driver, and quipped that Mercedes should give Jos Verstappen a call. Jos is Max's dad and a former F1 racer himself.

“I thought Max was pretty resolute in what he said in this conference yesterday,” Horner said. “He’s always been absolutely consistent in that with the team. So, yeah, why Toto [Wolff]… I think it’s purely a tactic of distraction. If he does want a Verstappen for next year, then I guess Jos is potentially available.”

Horner’s comments came after his spat with Verstappen’s father, Jos, re-emerged in the public light.

The senior Verstappen, who raced in Formula 1 from 1994 through 2003. was critical of Horner in the aftermath of the investigation of Horner’s alleged inappropriate behavior towards a female colleague.

The 52-year-old Verstappen Sr. was due to participate in the Legends’ Parade at the Red Bull Ring—organized annually at the Austrian Grand Prix—and was expected to get behind the wheel of the 2012-spec Red Bull RB8.

Verstappen Sr., speaking to Dutch media, claimed that his proposed run had been vetoed by Horner, something which Horner denied.

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Max Verstappen is well on his way to a fourth consecutive F1 Drivers’ Championship.Clive Rose - Formula 1 - Getty Images

Expanding on the situation, Horner said: “The relationship with Max has always been very good, very strong. He’s a key part of our team. He’s our driver, he’s the one that is important obviously to have a strong relationship with. I’ve never had an issue with any of our drivers’ fathers in the past. Whatever Jos’s issues are, I’ve really got nothing to comment on.”

Horner emphasized that he “can’t control relationships with drivers’ fathers” and “my focus is on the performance of our drivers and the performance of our team.”

“I don’t think it’s really helpful to continue talking on the topic of Jos. I think our focus is very much on Max.”