Red Bull “unity” as Christian Horner “mends fences” with Max Verstappen

Christian Horner and Max Verstappen "paddock posing" to prove their loyalty, it is analysed

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal. Formula 1 World
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing with Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull…

Red Bull delivered a display of “unity” after their recent troubles at the F1 Australian Grand Prix.

This weekend’s third round of the 2024 F1 campaign comes amid the latest rumblings of internal controversies at the sport’s dominant team.

But on Thursday in Australia, team principal Christian Horner and star driver Max Verstappen appeared far more relaxed in each other’s company.

“What we saw today was interesting in terms of the team dynamics and the potential fractures that we’ve talked about within the team,” Craig Slater reported on Sky Sports News.

“Christian Horner - is he beginning to mend fences with the Verstappens?”

Looking at pictures of Horner and Verstappen sitting amicably in the paddock, Slater said: “Images like this are done deliberately. This kind of paddock posing, as it were, almost stands in place of a statement.

“Here we’ve got Horner and Max Verstappen, remember, whose father said that Horner is tearing this team apart while he stays as team principal.

“Verstappen sounded a different type of tone today. Much more conciliatory.

“My understanding is that we’ll get further statements from the likes of Dr. Helmut Marko - another who Horner was supposed to have fallen out with, and was in a fractured relationship with - sounding a note of unity. The team intends to close ranks over all of this.

“But against all of that, there is the backdrop of the appeal into the investigation that Horner was subject to.”

Horner was cleared of wrongdoing by an independent lawyer after complaints from a colleague, who has now been suspended, into his behaviour.

Jos Verstappen then accused Horner of “playing the victim” and demanded his exit as Red Bull team boss.

The drama engulfed Max Verstappen whose future suddenly appeared in doubt after a revelation about a contract clause which would allow him to quit if his close associate Marko leaves.

But Verstappen pledged loyalty to his Red Bull contract, which runs to 2028, in Australia.

On-track, Red Bull have dominated so far. Verstappen has won both grands prix, with Sergio Perez twice finishing in P2.

But Sky’s Slater reported that the situation surrounding Horner is not over yet.

“His accuser has also submitted a formal complaint to the FIA, asking them to investigate the matter,” he said.

“I understand that was only done at the back end of last week, as well.

“People may have read about other petitions to the FIA, on her behalf. Those were done without Horner’s accuser’s knowledge, as I understand.

“The FIA are still evaluating whether they want to launch their own investigation.”

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