Red Bull ‘ready to let Max Verstappen leave’ as Horner saga takes new turn

Red Bull 'ready to let Max Verstappen leave' as Horner saga takes new turn

GmbH bosses are prepared to side with if they are forced into a choice between the under-fire team principal and , according to reports. Signs of discontent, both in public and behind the scenes, have marred the start of what has otherwise been a positive start to the season for the reigning constructors’ champions.

It looked as though a long and fruitful alliance between Verstappen, Horner and Red Bull would continue for years to come after they strolled to the team and individual world titles last season.

However, an investigation into Horner surrounding allegations of inappropriate behaviour has rocked Red Bull in recent weeks. Horner denied wrongdoing and he was ultimately cleared by the multi-billion-pound drinks company, but the suspended female employee who raised the complaint is set to appeal the decision.

Even so, according to The Mirror, Horner enjoys the backing of Red Bull GmbH’s major shareholders and the mood behind the scenes has ‘swung in his favour’.

Verstappen could be forced to resume his career elsewhere as a result, with Red Bull said to be ready to let the defending triple world champion jump ship if it becomes a case of him or Horner.

Jos Verstappen, father of the Red Bull star, publicly called for Horner to step down in Bahrain for fear of the team being ‘torn apart’. Another of Verstappen Jr’s allies, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko, is also believed to be at loggerheads with the team principal.

Red Bull GmbH chiefs Franz Watzlawick and Oliver Mintzlaff are understood to be in support of Horner, who has spearheaded the company’s F1 team since 2005, following the outcome of the investigation.

Verstappen is contracted to Red Bull Racing until the end of the 2028 season, but his deal is believed to include a break clause allowing him to leave in the case of Marko’s departure.