Christian Horner ‘holds meeting’ with Max Verstappen’s manager as tensions rise

Christian Horner 'holds meeting' with Max Verstappen's manager as tensions rise

Christian Horner staged an in-person meeting with Max Verstappen‘s manager on Monday amid growing tensions behind the scenes at Red Bull, according to reports. Horner was recently cleared over allegations of inappropriate behaviour, with Red Bull’s investigation into the claims being led by an independent specialist barrister.

The saga has refused to die down over the last few days, with Verstappen’s father Jos having stated that Red Bull will ‘explode’ if Horner remains in his position. In a bid to ease rising tensions within the team, Horner staged a face-to-face meeting with Verstappen’s manager Raymond Vermeulen in Dubai on Monday, according to PA.

It is said that neither Verstappen nor his father attended the meeting in person, with Vermeulen acting on the Red Bull driver’s behalf. However, a number of senior Red Bull figures were present to witness the talks, which are said to have gone ‘well’.

The news of the meeting comes after Horner insisted that he was ‘absolutely confident’ he would stay in charge at Red Bull in spite of the uncertainty around him. Speaking at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, the 50-year-old added: “I have the support of an incredible family, an incredible wife, an incredible team and everybody within that team.

“And my focus is going racing, winning racing and doing the best I can. It was a day about starting the season in the best possible way. My focus is on this team, my family, my wife and racing.”

The situation at Red Bull has sparked rumours that Verstappen could leave the team in the near future if Horner is not relieved of his duties. He has been linked with a sensational move to Mercedes, who will have an open seat when Lewis Hamilton joins Ferrari next year.

Toto Wolff was spotted chatting to Verstappen’s father in the Bahrain paddock, fuelling talk of a potential move away from Red Bull at the end of the season. However, the Mercedes boss has already played down the prospect of replacing Hamilton with Verstappen, insisting that he is unlikely to be keen on leaving Red Bull while they have the best car on the grid.

“I think the driver will always choose the quickest car,” said Wolff. “That is fundamentally what it’s all about. At the moment, Red Bull is the quickest car so that will, in my opinion, always be the priority. I think today, Max is not in a different league, but he’s in a different galaxy.”