Jos Verstappen tells Red Bull to sack Christian Horner in attack on F1 boss

Reports also claim that Verstappen Snr, 51, had a heated row in Horner’s office following qualifying on Friday night. The Dutchman allegedly stormed out of the meeting before later returning to the room and agreeing to shake hands.

But he denied any involvement in the leaked e-mails, arguing: “That wouldn’t make sense. Why would I do that when Max is doing so well here?”

Horner has remained defiant throughout the investigation and subsequent controversy, strongly maintaining his innocence. And he was joined in the Middle East this weekend by his wife Geri, with the pair pointedly holding hands together as they walked from the paddock.

But the candid words of Verstappen’s father threaten to divide the Red Bull team. Son Max has a notably close relationship with Horner, and is undoubtedly the team’s prize asset having claimed three straight world titles in succession.

During his post-race interview with Sky Sports F1 on Saturday, Horner was blunt when asked whether he would be on duty in Jeddah next weekend. He replied: “Yes, absolutely. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”