Christian Horner delivers irate response to Toto Wolff’s Max Verstappen remarks

Christian Horner has fired shots at Toto Wolff over Mercedes' form in 2024 following his latest comments about Max Verstappen.

Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai,
Christian Horner (GBR) Red Bull Racing Team Principal. Formula 1 World…

Christian Horner has hit back strongly at Toto Wolff after the Mercedes boss hinted that Max Verstappen could be tempted into leaving F1’s dominant team.

Verstappen stormed to his fourth F1 victory of the season, finishing over 13 seconds clear of Lando Norris.

While Verstappen’s immediate F1 future is secure, given his contract with Red Bull lasts until 2028, rumours over a potential switch to Mercedes aren’t going away.

After the race in China, Wolff suggested that Red Bull’s form in 2024 alone wouldn’t be enough to keep the Dutchman.

Horner was asked about Wolff’s recent remarks - and the Red Bull boss was clearly irked by them.

"I'm going to think carefully about what I say here," he said."Have you spoken to Max about this? Because if you speak to Max, and it’s not about pieces of paper at the end of the day, we know that he has a contract to the end of 2028, it’s about how he feels in the team and the relationship he has in the team and the way he’s performing.

"I don’t think Toto’s problems are his drivers; I think he’s probably got other elements that he needs to be focusing on rather than focusing on drivers that are unavailable.

“I don’t know how many more times he needs to say it. He said it numerous times. I’m not going to get drawn into it – I think sometimes it’s just designed to create noise.”

Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 celebrates in parc ferme. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5,
Race winner Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20 celebrates in parc…

Red Bull’s latest win means they have moved ahead of Mercedes for most victories (117 to 116) in the modern era.

Horner then fired two shots at Mercedes - the first for being behind two of their customer teams in performance terms (McLaren and Aston Martin) - and the second, by mentioning George Russell and the fact he might want to leave when his contract expires in 2026.

“We moved today ahead of the number of races that Mercedes have won in the modern era, so the team is in form, why on earth would you want to leave this team?," Horner added.

“Mercedes are the third team behind their customers at the moment, so I would think his time would be better spent perhaps focusing on the team rather than the driver market.

"Have any of you heard George Russell is out of contract at the end of ’25? You know, maybe he might not be so keen to stay in ’26, you know, the market moves around.”

Horner remains adamant that Verstappen will be in a Red Bull in 2025.

"I can assure you that there is no ambiguity as to where Max Verstappen will be next year,” he concluded.

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