Red Bull deal broke down after Christian Horner became ‘uncomfortable’ about his job

Christian Horner was “uncomfortable” with the Red Bull arrangement prior to its collapse.

According to the BBC, Christian Horner was worried about how a possible engine agreement between Red Bull and Porsche would affect his employment. Members of the team are divided over the news, which comes amid troubling claims of inappropriate behavior against Christian Horner.

Porsche’s original plan was to compete in Formula 1 alongside its sister brand Audi, which has acquired Sauber and will debut as a team in 2026. Porsche was supposed to enter as an engine partner for Red Bull, rather than as its own team or as a title sponsor like Audi.

As of the summer of 2022, talks between Porsche and the Milton Keynes-based team had already advanced to a highly probable level. Dietrich Mateschitz, the late co-owner of Red Bull, was reportedly very supportive of the change.

Max Verstappen stated on Sky Sports in 2022, “I think it’s very exciting and important for Formula 1.” Our teams are excellent, no doubt, but it’s nice to have such amazing brands supporting us. I’m excited to see what the future holds.

Horner, the team’s principal, was one of the primary barriers to the agreement. According to the BBC, the Red Bull CEO was worried about the amount of control he would lose because the partnership would have made the German company a 50% stakeholder.

Red Bull confirmed a similar engine partnership with Ford for the 2026 season after the deal fell through in September 2022.

Since then, Horner has been the subject of intense controversy. At the start of this season, accusations of inappropriate behavior were made against the Red Bull team manager. Following the team’s commission of an independent investigation that found no evidence of misconduct, Horner’s alleged WhatsApp messages to a female employee were leaked to the media and F1 staff, which escalated the story. Horner has consistently refuted any accusations made against him.

The controversy has caused division within the team; Jos, the father of star driver Verstappen, stated that it was “driving people apart.” Though the incident has sparked rumors that a move to replace departing Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes could be on, Max has remained silent about the Horner situation.

George Russell, a Mercedes driver, stated: “Every team aspires to have the strongest driver lineup possible. Max is the best driver on the grid at the moment. Thus, any team would without a doubt seize the opportunity to sign Max.

“It’s more on his and Red Bull’s side of the dispute. We have no idea what really goes on behind closed doors, and in the end, it is none of our concern at this time.

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