Formula 1 Racing

Verstappen stays at Red Bull, but why didn’t he just say it the first time?

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

It was a one-word answer that subsequently killed off any lingering doubt – if there was any – about where he would be driving next season.

It took many attempts to extrapolate the answer but we got there in the end.
Max Verstappen says he is staying put at Red Bull for next season.

In doing so, he diffused the potential powder keg at Red Bull ahead of their home race at the Austrian Grand Prix, where there is expected to be another show of support for the race team from the energy drink bosses.

Yet it was the manner in which Verstappen delivered the news, which admittedly many expected, which was perplexing. A hesitancy to answer the question, but why?

For nearly four months questions have been raised about his future in the team after his father’s explosive outburst towards team principal Christian Horner in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Jos Verstappen claimed the team would be “torn apart” should Horner be allowed to remain in his post adding that his son could be forced to quit the all-conquering team, despite having a long-term contract.

What followed was a bumpy few weeks for the reigning F1 world champion as he was asked if he would stay or not but we now appear to have reached a conclusion.

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

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

It comes at a time of peace – for the meantime at least – between Horner, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko and Verstappen’s father, who incidentally is in the paddock this weekend after missing a host of races this season.

There was speculation that the rumbling uncertainty over his future, which was reignited last weekend with comments from Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, could spark another conflict with the Red Bull hierarchy.

Wolff had said at the Spanish Grand Prix that there were “no talks that are taking place at this stage” although confusingly, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius had told Sky Germany that there was “an opportunity” to sign Verstappen, adding the Dutchman “would look good in silver”.

Verstappen was asked at the Red Bull Ring about his future and whether he saw it with the world champions.

He danced around the subject trying to elude what required a simple, straight answer.

“I think I’ve said this before,” Verstappen replied. “I mean naturally of course people are talking, but it’s most important just that we have a very competitive car for the future.

“At the moment of course it’s…

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