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Verstappen defends father over Horner criticisms: “He’s not a liar”

Max Verstappen has defended his father Jos speaking his mind in criticising Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner, insisting “he’s not a liar.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull Racing with Jos Verstappen

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Verstappen Sr. dropped a bombshell on the evening of the Bahrain Grand Prix when he launched a public attack on Horner, suggesting that he needed to step down for the good of the team.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, Verstappen said “There is tension here while he remains in position.

“The team is in danger of being torn apart. It can't go on the way it is. It will explode. He is playing the victim, when he is the one causing the problems.”

The comments come in the wake of an investigation that was launched into Horner’s behaviour following complaints made by a female employee at Red Bull.

After an eight-week probe, Horner was cleared of any wrongdoing – but the matter did not fall away after anonymous leaks of alleged evidence was released in an attempt to try to force him out.

While Max Verstappen himself has not gone as far as supporting his father's views that Red Bull is at risk if Horner stays on board, he equally has not totally distanced himself from what was said.

Asked if he reckoned his dad regretted his comments, Verstappen said: “I haven't asked him that. I think from how I know him of course, from when I was already in go karting, he's always very outspoken. He's not a liar, that's for sure.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Shameem Fahath

Verstappen has emphasised that he did not want to take sides on the matter, but felt it was not unusual for there to be a difference of opinions within organisations about how things should work.

“I think everyone in general, even if you have arguments or not, there always are things that can be worked out in general,” he said.

“I think everyone is man enough and respectful enough to each other anyway,  in that sense.

“I don’t always agree with everything that happened, just in general in F1, and that's why sometimes it's good to have a discussion about things.

“You might agree to disagree sometimes. That's also what's happening in a relationship.”

While the comments of Jos have triggered controversy, Verstappen says that he did not want to get drawn too much into the matter, and preferred to focus on what was happening on track.

“My dad and I, we are very close, we call every day, even if he's not around, or whatever,” said the triple world champion.

“But on the other hand, also, you know, I'm not the guy who likes to speak a lot about certain stuff. I just want to focus on the driving bit. And if there are any issues, we try to resolve them within the team.”

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