Christian Horner: Wolff Should Focus on Team Issues, Not Unavailable Drivers

"I don't think Toto's problems are his drivers. I think he's probably got other elements he needs to be focusing."

by Sead Dedovic
Christian Horner: Wolff Should Focus on Team Issues, Not Unavailable Drivers
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

After another victory for Max Verstappen, this time in China, rumors about his future have resurfaced. The biggest influence on such rumors came from Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, whose statements deepened the concerns of Red Bull fans that Max Verstappen could indeed leave the team. 

Wolff, speaking about Max's future, emphasized that it would be a rational decision for Verstappen to remain part of Red Bull, but on the other hand, a fast car is not a guarantee that he will stay with the team. Wolff highlighted that simple minds would opt for the path of least resistance, while Max is someone who may think more deeply. 

The Mercedes boss admitted that they have no intention of persuading Max to join their team, considering that Verstappen is well acquainted with the F1 scene. What is interesting is Wolff's statement that in the event Max stays with Red Bull for 2025, he is not the one making decisions, stressing there are many factors involved in the decision. It didn't take long for the reaction of Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, who knew how to respond to Wolff.

Horner intends to keep Verstappen in the team, aware of the gem they possess. He is a driver that every team would desire, including Mercedes. Max Verstappen will decide on his future, but considering Horner's statements, it seems like a realistic option for the 26-year-old driver to remain part of this team.

"I've got to think carefully what I say here. I can assure you there is no ambiguity over where Max will be driving next year. It's not about pieces of paper at the end of the day we know 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."- Christian Horner said, as quoted by Pitpass!

The Red Bull team principal believes that Wolff should be more focused on the internal issues and progress of his own team, rather than on unavailable drivers.

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

Horner emphasized the importance of Verstappen's commitment to Red Bull, stating that it has been reaffirmed multiple times. He indicated that such discussions might be intended to cause attention rather than address actual issues. Highlighting Red Bull's recent achievements, Horner questioned why Verstappen would consider leaving a team that is currently performing quite well. He suggested that Mercedes should focus on their team's performance rather than speculating about the driver market.

Max Verstappen on Toto Wolff statements

Looking at it from a realistic perspective, much like Wolff mentioned, the rational decision for Verstappen would be to remain part of this team in the future. Red Bull can offer him a lot going forward, and Verstappen could likely achieve dominance within this team in the years ahead. The Dutchman has demonstrated loyalty to Red Bull on multiple occasions, but given the unpredictability of the sports world, it wouldn't be surprising if he changed his decision. Nowadays, it's difficult to guarantee and have complete confidence in someone's statements.

Toto Wolff
Toto Wolff© Clive Rose/Getty Images Sport

Max Verstappen responded today to Wolff's statements, not paying too much attention to what Wolff had to say. For him, the most important thing is that the team is performing well this season, and Red Bull is on track to replicate the success of last year. Max is pleased with the atmosphere within the team and the direction in which Red Bull is heading. The 26-year-old driver confirmed that he doesn't dwell too much on his future, instead focusing on progress and success.

“I think there’s every reason to be happy, right? The car’s going really well, there’s so many great people in the team that are constantly pushing for better results, so for me that’s what I focus on.

I focus on the performance, I’m happy, and when I go home, I don’t think about any other thing because it’s pretty fixed where I’m at also, and that’s also where I want to be.”

Having Verstappen in the team also means not worrying about the future. Red Bull intends to keep Max in their team, with optimism that they will continue to achieve success in the coming years. His contract extends until 2028, and we'll see if the Dutchman honors the contract until the very end. Lewis Hamilton's departure could trigger an even bigger domino effect, leading to significant changes in the F1 scene. Verstappen could be part of those changes.

Christian Horner