In recent months, two-time world champion Max Verstappen has repeatedly hinted that he might be pulling up stakes in Formula 1 sooner than those responsible at Red Bull and fans from all over the world would like.
But team boss Christian Horner is not yet worried that his exceptional talent could soon be gone. Christian Horner sees Max Verstappen doing his rounds in Formula 1, or more precisely at Red Bull, for a long time to come.
“I’m not afraid of a near-term departure,” he said in an interview with Sport Bild:
“Neither from Max nor from Helmut (motorsport consultant Marko). Max still has a contract until the end of 2028, and Helmut is a very young 80-year-old.”
Nevertheless, the 49-year-old admitted that the departure of Verstappen and Marko would mean “a bitter loss” for the racing team. “But that’s part of it – especially in such a fast-moving business as Formula 1.”
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Horner draws comparison to Manchester United
Horner therefore always wants to equip the team for the future, just as football coaching icon Sir Alex Fergusen once did when he enjoyed great success at Manchester United between 1986 and 2013.
“I’ve always admired the way he led this global club so successfully over decades. He took them to the top with Éric Cantona and made up for his departure with players like Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham,” the Brit showed his admiration, drawing a comparison to his sport:
“It’s the same with us. Some people leave the team, but we are still successful.”
Formula 1 is “not a one-man show, but a team effort”, Christian Horner emphasised.
Meanwhile, the team boss does not see his top driver Max Verstappen at the end of his development. Horner has “no doubt” that the Dutchman can become even better.
“Max has always had talent and speed, now he’s adding experience. Max hasn’t reached 100 per cent yet.”
Verstappen, who is “sometimes misperceived” by the outside world, works “very professionally” and has “his heart in the right place”, Horner added:
“The formula for success in working with him is simple: he gives 100 per cent and he expects 100 per cent.”