“Red Bull is on the verge of explosion”

“Red Bull is on the verge of explosion”
Christian Horner
Image: AFP/Andrej Isakovic

It corroborates many of the allegations against Horner and raises doubts about the independence of the investigation that internally exonerated the Briton. The next chapter looms this week in Jeddah.

  • also read: Complaint dismissed: Horner remains Red Bull team boss

In 17 pages, the story tells how the drama gradually escalated with the main locations being England, Austria and Thailand. BusinessF1 also gave the name of the woman who complained about Horner’s behavior, which most media outlets refrain from mentioning out of respect for her privacy. The Red Bull management had been aware of the matter for a long time and, through the responsible managing director Oliver Mintzlaff, had decided that Horner should vacate his post.

It is said that Mintzlaff was horrified by what he had seen and read and believed that this was not compatible with Red Bull’s values. Even the press release, which would have hidden the real reasons for the separation out of consideration for Horner, was already ready at the beginning of February. However, Horner then insisted on an investigation through his own lawyers. In the end, the support of the Thai Yoovidhya clan, which holds the majority of Red Bull GmbH, saved his job.

Points of friction after Mateschitz’s death

Billionaire Chalerm Yoovidhya (73) even traveled to Bahrain with his wife last weekend – definitely a sign, as he doesn’t often attend races. He and Horner create a side in the power struggle at Red Bull Racing in the picture that more and more media is painting of the internal conditions. Chief advisor Helmut Marko, the Verstappen family and a few others represent the opposing camp.

There are said to have been a few points of friction after the death of Red Bull founder Dietrich Mateschitz in autumn 2022. Horner is said to have arbitrarily torpedoed the partnership with Porsche, which was already ready to be signed, while Marko and the Mateschitz camp were still in favor of it. Last year, Horner allegedly wanted to get rid of Marko and expand his control over both Formula 1 teams – in addition to Red Bull Racing, the then AlphaTauri. Marko stayed and received a new contract until the end of 2026.

The explosiveness is increased by the fact that Red Bull is currently the best team in Formula 1 with the best driver. Max Verstappen gets caught between the two fronts in the Horner dispute. The Dutchman unintentionally acts as his father’s means of pressure. A premature departure would be a total loss for the team, both in terms of image and sport. His contract is valid until the end of 2028, although there are clauses for an early end.

Dislike for Horner?

According to Jos Verstappen, Red Bull Racing is on the verge of explosion as he said in an interview. It is not entirely clear whether the ex-Formula 1 driver has a deeper antipathy towards Horner. The Motorsport-Total.com portal wrote that he never got over the fact that Horner wanted to prevent Max from joining Red Bull Racing in the spring of 2016. Ultimately, it was thanks to Marko that Verstappen was promoted to the senior team by Toro Rosso in the middle of the season and won his first race in the Red Bull in Barcelona.

How the saga will continue is unclear. Horner could resign amid increasing pressure. Whether he is the type for that: very questionable. In any case, it cannot be assumed that there will be calm around the second round of the season in Saudi Arabia this week.

more from motorsport

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Jos Verstappen on the Horner case: “It can’t go on like this”

After the acquittal: Now Red Bull team boss Christian Horner speaks out

A solo for Max: Why this season won’t be boring

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