Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has admitted to losing to Max Verstappen’s mother in 1989, in the Junior Karting Championship.
Before becoming Red Bull’s team boss in 2005, Horner was a prolific racer himself but was never quite able to progress into Formula 1.
A lot of Horner’s youth was dedicated to go-karting, where he came up against the likes of Verstappen’s mother, Sophie Kumpen, Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli, Dario Franchitti and Kevin Magnussen’s dad, Jan Magnussen.
Horner was rubbing shoulders with some incredible racing drivers from a young age, although he was beaten by them, including Verstappen’s mum.
The Red Bull boss revealed that when it came to the 1989 Junior Karting Championship, the three-time World Champion’s mum was one of the best in the world “at that point”, making her extremely difficult to beat.
“I raced in the 1989 Junior Karting Championship, and I raced against Max Verstappen’s mum,” Horner told the Eff Won podcast.
“She was top 10 in the world at that point, she was fantastic.”
Horner admitted that he failed to beat Verstappen’s mum, due to just how fast she was.
“Yes she did,” Horner openly admitted.
It’s remarkable that Horner crossed paths with his star driver’s family before the Dutchman was even born, with Horner having first met Verstappen’s mum when they were only 13 years old.
He acknowledges that neither himself nor Sophie “could’ve predicted” that Verstappen would become the unbeatable driver that he currently is today, when they first met so long ago.
“We met when we were 13,” Horner said.
“I don’t think either of us could’ve predicted that.”
The fact Horner now looks over Verstappen 30 or so years on from when he raced his mum is an incredible story.
Horner has been brought much joy thanks to the 26-year-old, perhaps making up for losing to Sophie in 1989.
Verstappen has been surrounded by successful racing drivers his whole life, given that his father, Jos Verstappen, raced in F1 for eight seasons.
Jos’ final season in the pinnacle of motorsport came in 2003, although he failed to finish in the top-eight in all races and score a point that year.