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Jos Verstappen calls for Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner’s departure

Jos Verstappen and Christian Horner stand on the grid in Austria last year. Cristiano Barni/ATPImages/Getty Images

Former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen, father of three-time F1 world champion Max Verstappen, criticized Red Bull’s decision to keep team principal Christian Horner saying “the team is in danger of being torn apart.”

Following Max Verstappen’s victory in the season-opening race at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Verstappen’s father told The Daily Mail that “there is tension while he remains in position,” referring to Horner.

He added: “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.”

In a statement to CNN on Monday, Red Bull said, “This is untrue. We are united as a team and we are concentrating on racing.”

An independent investigation was launched by Red Bull in February after Horner was accused of engaging in inappropriate behavior towards a member of the racing team, who has not been identified. Last week, the investigation cleared Horner of any wrongdoing.

One day later, alleged leaked messages were distributed to members of the F1 community on Thursday, coming from an anonymous email address. That email contained a Google drive of WhatsApp messages. It was anonymously emailed to notable race officials, teams and journalists around the world.

Horner and Verstappen in the paddock prior to practice ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix on February 29. Clive Rose/Getty Images

In a statement, regarding the mass email, Red Bull told CNN: “This is a private matter between Mr. Horner and another and it would be inappropriate for Red Bull to comment on this.”

Meanwhile, Horner reiterated that he denied allegations of wrongdoing following the release of the leaked messages.

In an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Jos Verstappen denied being the source behind the leaked messages.

“But why would I do that? Max has a contract with Red Bull until 2028, is performing great and feels at home here,” he said. “I have no interest in that at all.”

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