Max Verstappen may leave Red Bull over Christian Horner scandal

Max Verstappen has been crowned world champion three years in row (Picture: Getty)

Formula One world champion Max Verstappen could leave Red Bull over the scandal involving team principal Christian Horner, according to reports.

Horner, the husband of Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, has been accused of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ towards a subordinate female employee.

The 50-year-old was cleared by Red Bull on Wednesday after an internal probe reached a swift conclusion but the saga looks far from over after a series of alleged text messages leaked online.

The controversy surrounding Horner dominated the first F1 race of the season in Bahrain this weekend – despite his team Red Bull securing a one-two – with Verstappen and Sergio Perez finishing first and second respectively.

But Verstappen’s future at Red Bull has been thrown into doubt with his father publicly calling for Horner to be sacked as team principal.

It is thought that Horner had a ‘falling out’ with Jos Verstappen during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Reports in the Daily Mail and Telegraph now suggest his son Max could leave Red Bull if Horner remains in his role in what would be a massive blow to the team.

AUTO-PRIX-F1-BRN-PRACTICE

Christian Horner has been accused of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ (Picture: Getty)

Red Bull star Verstappen has been crowned world champion for the last three years in a row and is tipped to once again come out on top in 2024.

But Verstappen’s dad, who has denied being the source of the alleged leaked texts, has been seen with Mercedes boss Toto Wolff and is thought to have told friends that Max will depart Red Bull if necessary.

Helmut Marko, director of the Red Bull F1 teams and head of Red Bull’s driver development programme, admits Mercedes may have already made contact with Verstappen in their search to find a Lewis Hamilton replacement for 2024.

‘I would be surprised if they hadn’t,’ he told Krone Zeitung. ‘But Max is a very loyal driver.’

Mercedes are looking to fill a seat for 2024 when British legend Hamilton departs them to join rivals Ferrari.

Mercedes team principal Wolff said this weekend that F1 and the FIA must ‘set the compass right’ regarding the scandal surrounding Horner.


MORE : What Geri Halliwell’s eyes tell us about the Christian Horner WhatsApp scandal


MORE : Brit Awards host Roman Kemp makes sly dig at F1’s Christian Horner


MORE : Lewis Hamilton gives damning assessment of Mercedes car after ‘tough’ Bahrain Grand Prix

General Sport