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Jos Verstappen denies leaking ‘Christian Horner texts’ after ‘blazing row’

Jos Verstappen – father of reigning world champion Max Verstappen – has denied playing a role in the ‘leaking’ of the alleged Christian Horner messages and photos after admitting that the pair had a ‘blazing row’ ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The internal investigation into allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ has been hanging over the Red Bull camp since the start of February, but Red Bull opted not to suspend their team principal while the probe was ongoing. Horner was therefore present at both the RB20 launch and pre-season testing, where his presence overshadowed any other stories.

Horner was then cleared of any wrongdoing on Wednesday off the back of the investigation, but this was not where the saga ended. On Thursday, a Google Drive folder containing alleged WhatsApp messages and photos from Horner was ‘leaked’ to paddock journalists, team principals and key F1 figures.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Jos – whose relationship with Horner has reportedly been strained – denied any involvement in the leaking of the messages, explaining: “That wouldn’t make sense. Why would I do that when Max is doing so well here?”

The father of the reigning world champion even revealed that a ‘blazing row’ between himself and Horner had taken place on Friday in the paddock after qualifying, although Verstappen did admit that after the meeting he returned to the team principal’s office to shake his hand.

Verstappen didn’t mince his words when it came to addressing the future for Horner though. “There is tension here while he remains in position,” he said. “The team is in danger of being torn apart. It can’t go on the way it is. It will explode. He is playing the victim, when he is the one causing the problems.”

The 50-year-old has stood strong since and refuses to be ousted from his position. Asked by Sky Sports F1 reporter Simon Lazenby whether he would be on the pit wall in Jeddah for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix next weekend, he replied: “Yes, absolutely. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”

Horner was also keen to reiterate the unity within the camp, noting: “Yes, absolutely [we are united]. 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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