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Christian Horner

Horner tells Wolff 'Jos is available' in Verstappen pursuit

Christian Horner has offered an alternative to Max Verstappen to Toto Wolff.

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Christian Horner has made a mischievous offer to Toto Wolff in light of the Mercedes team principal's pursuit of Max Verstappen. 

Wolff has been keen to lure Verstappen from Red Bull as a replacement for Ferrari-bound Hamilton. On Thursday at the Austrian Grand Prix, however, the three-time F1 champion confirmed he would be staying for 2025. 

Wolff then appeared to cast doubt on that claim, but his comments have drawn short shrift from Horner, who has questioned the Austrian's motives as well as suggesting he make a different signing as another spat between Verstappen Sr and Horner broke out on Friday. 

"It is a question you would have to ask Toto," Horner told media including RacingNews365 when asked if he knew why Wolff was continuing with his pursuit of Verstappen.

"Max was pretty resolute in what he said [on Thursday], and he's always been absolutely consistent with the team.

"I think it is purely a distraction tactic from Toto - and if he does want a Verstappen for next year, I guess Jos is potentially available.

"A lot of noise has been made about him going elsewhere and sometimes one just thinks that it is a distraction tactic, that it is just thrown in because you have to question, 'What are the motives behind that?'

"The driver [Hamilton] that's created all the movement in the market had all the information about the engines and 2026 regulations and so on, and chose to leave and left the vacancy at Mercedes. 

"That is why there has now been a little bit of speculation as to who will fill that seat, but it won't be Max Verstappen."

Verstappen staying reaffirms Red Bull

Horner was also keen to describe just how integral Verstappen is to the Red Bull operation, with the Dutchman breaking numerous records with the team he joined in 2016.

"It already reaffirms everything that we already know," Horner added. "You know Max is an important part of our team.

"He has had all of his victories and podiums in Red Bull Racing cars, his three world championships so far, and he's a crucial member of the team and enjoys being part of the team.

"He's got a tremendous group around him and we know what the future looks like."

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