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Christian Horner

Horner delivers firm 'hands off' warning over Wolff's Verstappen hunt

Max Verstappen is going precious nowhere, according to Christian Horner.

Verstappen Spain
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Christian Horner is "very clear" that Max Verstappen is staying at Red Bull for 2025, after Toto Wolff appeared to call a halt to his pursuit. 

Wolff has been trying to lure Verstappen to Mercedes as the replacement for Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton, but appears to have settled on Formula 2 protege Andrea Kimi Antonelli instead. 

After Verstappen's victory in the Spanish Grand Prix, Wolff explained that: "there are no talks that are taking place at this stage," with Red Bull counterpart Horner equally sure the world champion will be at the team next season, after a trying start to the year with off-track controversies engulfing the team.

"I'm very clear about where Max is going to be next year," Horner told media including RacingNews365.

"It is here, but is Toto still talking about him?"

Horner was then told that Wolff had mentioned that had explained that "no talks" were taking place, before adding "so they're talking but they're not talking."

"He is fantastic under pressure, last year was a unicorn year, and this is a more normal year. 

"He is hungry, he wants to win and hates losing. That is how it should be. 

"He's pushing himself, he just wants to go faster and any driver of his calibre that goes: 'well, that's okay' doesn't exist.

"It is his inner drive and hunger for performance that he also demands from the team. He just wants to go quicker."

Red Bull and Verstappen won 21 and 19 respective races in the 2023 season from 22, with the Dutchman also setting new records for most points, most laps lead and finished 290 points ahead of Sergio Perez in the standings - more than the Mexican's haul of 285. 

However, in 2024, the team-driver pairing has come under renewed threat, with Horner praising the difference marker in the #1.

"It was not normal to win all the races  [in 2023], and we're having to fight very hard for them, and Max is making a key difference," he said.

"But we know we need to improve, were getting a better understanding of where our strengths and weaknesses are, and we're doing enough at the moment to keep growing that championship lead.


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