Christian Horner meets Max Verstappen’s agent for face-to-face talks amid rising tensions at Red Bull | F1 News

Christian Horner staged a face-to-face meeting with Max Verstappen’s representative in Dubai on Monday in a bid to iron out rising tensions at Red Bull.

The Red Bull team boss was the main focus of attention at Formula 1’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix – where Max Verstappen led Sergio Perez in a Red Bull 1-2 – following an investigation which dismissed allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against him.

Horner, who denied the allegations throughout the process, came under renewed pressure on Thursday as material purporting to be the alleged evidence in the investigation into his conduct was leaked to numerous media organisations and F1 team principals from an anonymous email account.

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Sky Sports F1’s Craig Slater gives the latest update on Christian Horner’s position at Red Bull after allegations for inappropriate behaviour were dismissed

Verstappen’s father Jos Verstappen told the Daily Mail that Red Bull was in danger of being “torn apart” if Horner remained in his position – remarks Sky Sports News understands he made before Saturday’s Bahrain Grand Prix but still stands by.

FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem – who Sky Sports News understands is being investigated for alleged race interference at the 2023 Saudi Arabian GP – has asked Max Verstappen to publicly endorse Horner

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Christian Horner confirms he will be in Jeddah to lead Red Bull at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

Horner ‘absolutely’ expects to remain as Red Bull boss in Saudi Arabia

Red Bull made the perfect start to the new season on the track as Max Verstappen led every lap on his way to victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix from team-mate Perez.

Horner watched the podium ceremony with his wife Geri Horner, and Red Bull GmbH majority stakeholder Chalerm Yoovidhya.

Asked by Sky Sports F1 if he still expects to be in charge at this week’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Horner said: “Yes, absolutely. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

On whether Red Bull was unified he added: “Yes absolutely. We are a very strong team. We have got tremendous support, tremendous partners and great shareholders behind us as well. You don’t achieve this kind of result by not being united.”

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Team principal Christian Horner describes a Red Bull one-two finish in Bahrain as the ‘perfect start’ and praises the staff behind the scenes

In a later media briefing with reporters at the Bahrain International Circuit, Horner said the past few days had “not been pleasant” and reaffirmed his intention to remain in his dual roles as team principal and chief executive until at least the end of the season.

“Obviously it’s not been pleasant, the unwanted attention,” Horner said. “But the focus is now very much on the cars. My focus has very much been on what’s going on on-track and the result today I think demonstrates where the whole team’s focus is and we move onwards.”

Horner maintained that he cannot comment on what he described as “anonymous speculative messages from an unknown source”, referring to the material leaked on Thursday.

Christian Horner watches the Bahrain GP podium ceremony with Red Bull owner Chalerm Yoovidhya (L) and his wife Geri Haliwell-Horner (R)
Christian Horner watches the Bahrain GP podium ceremony with Red Bull owner Chalerm Yoovidhya (L) and his wife Geri Haliwell-Horner (R)

Sky Sports F1’s Saudi Arabian GP schedule

Wednesday March 6

  • 2.30pm: Drivers’ Press Conference

Thursday March 7

  • 9.50am: F2 Practice
  • 10.50am: F1 Academy Practice
  • 1pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice One (session starts at 1.30pm)
  • 2.55pm: F2 Qualifying
  • 4.45pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice Two (session starts at 5pm)
  • 6.15pm: F1 Academy Qualifying
  • 7.15pm: The F1 Show

Friday March 8

  • 11.55am: F1 Academy Race 1
  • 1.10pm: Saudi Arabian GP Practice Three (session starts at 1.30pm)
  • 3.05pm: F2 Sprint Race
  • 4.10pm: Saudi Arabian GP Qualifying build-up

Saturday March 9

  • 12pm: F1 Academy Race 2
  • 1.20pm: F2 Feature Race
  • 3.30pm: Saudi Arabian GP build-up: Grand Prix Saturday
  • 7pm: Saudi Arabian GP reaction: Chequered flag
  • 9.30pm: Saudi Arabian GP highlights

Watch the second round of the new F1 season – the Saudi Arabian GP – live on Sky Sports F1 this coming week, with practice on Thursday, qualifying on Friday and the race at 5pm on Saturday.

Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight showdown with Francis Ngannou takes place on Friday March 8, live on Sky Sports Box Office with the main event expected around 11pm. Book Joshua v Ngannou now!

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