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Verstappen: No change in Horner relationship amid Red Bull investigation

Max Verstappen says his relationship with Christian Horner is “the same as always” amid the investigation into allegations made against the Red Bull team principal.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19, Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

As first reported in the Dutch media, unspecified claims have been made against Horner. These are understood to have come from a female employee.

Horner denies the accusations and faced a lengthy hearing last Friday as part of an independent investigation launched by the F1 team’s parent company Red Bull GmbH.

Despite speculation surrounding his future, Horner maintained a significant presence at Thursday’s launch of the RB20 challenger, which will contest the 2024 season.

As the team celebrates its 20th  year in F1, he featured heavily in celebratory videos and was interviewed both on the main stage and for separate TV and media duties.

Although the investigation hangs over the team on the eve of pre-season testing, Verstappen said it had not affected his relationship with Horner.

When the subject was put to the reigning world champion by the press, who were briefed not to probe too far into the matter, Verstappen said: “It's the same as always – I can tell you that.

“I mean, I don't know who likes to write these kinds of things. But to me and Christian, it’s like always."

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Horner conceded that the investigation had proved a distraction. When the same question was put to Verstappen, he reckoned the team’s atmosphere was “good”.

He continued: “From my side, I am very focused on my own performance to get ready, to be fit, to be ready to drive the car, to be discussing things with the engineers, what you want to do.

“Plus, my life is not only F1. When I'm at home I prefer not to think about F1 too much outside of my scheduled training.

“There are a lot of things going on in the background for me also, what I want to do in the future, also from the virtual [racing] side of things that I'm working on, so I'm busy enough at home."

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing, Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Team-mate Sergio Perez implied that he hopes Horner remains team principal, saying it would be “ideal” to keep the team together.

He said: “We just want to go racing; we are a race team. We want the whole team to stay together because we've been so successful.

“It will be ideal just to keep the whole thing together and just focus on racing… We know that Christian is a key player in our organisation.

“It’s important that all of us focus on what we need to do. What we need to do is to win championships and bring the team as forward as possible. And that has to be the target for all of us in this organisation.”

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