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Christian Horner investigation update with ‘expected resolution date’ revealed

Red Bull F1 boss Horner denies allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ from a female colleague

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Friday 23 February 2024 13:06 GMT
Christian Horner says allegations are 'distraction' for Red Bull as he breaks silence

The investigation into Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner is expected to be resolved before next week’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, according to reports.

Horner strongly denies allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” from a female colleague, with his future as the longest-serving team principal in the sport hanging in the balance while an external lawyer analyses all the evidence.

Horner, 50, insisted at pre-season testing in Bahrain on Thursday that he wants the outcome to the probe “as soon as possible”, with the first race of the 2024 Formula 1 season just one week away.

Asked why he has not moved aside as team principal and chief executive of Red Bull Racing with the investigation under way, Horner replied: “As you are well aware there is a process going on which I form part of, and as I form part of that process, I am afraid I cannot comment on it.”

Now, the lawyer in charge of the probe will reportedly hand in his findings to the board of Red Bull GmbH – the team’s parent company – in the next few days.

Subsequently, as reported in the Daily Mail, an outcome on Horner’s future is expected before the first race of the season on Saturday 2 March at the Lusail circuit.

The Red Bull F1 chief, 50, is married to Spice Girl member Geri Horner and is the longest-serving team principal on the F1 grid, having been at the helm since the team’s inception in 2005.

While unable to comment on the nature of the investigation at Red Bull’s launch event last week, Horner appeared composed and undeterred by the allegations, continually insisting it was “business as normal” at the world-championship winning team.

“The support from within the business, partners within the industry, has been overwhelming,” Horner told the British press on 15 February.

Christian Horner has been present in the paddock at F1 testing this week in Bahrain

“Obviously there’s a process that’s ongoing at the moment, some allegations have been made which I fully deny and I’m complying obviously with that process and will continue to do so until its conclusion.”

When asked by The Independent, Horner said he also has the support of drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown, speaking in the same press conference as Horner on Thursday, echoed Toto Wolff’s comments that the probe is a “concern for all” in F1.

“The allegations are extremely serious,” said Brown. “McLaren hold themselves to the highest standards of diversity, equality and inclusion.

“These are extremely important to us and our partners, and to everyone in Formula One.

“Red Bull Corporation has launched an investigation, and all we hope and assume is that it will be handled in a very transparent way, and as the FIA and Formula One has said, swiftly, because these are not the headlines that Formula One wants or needs at this time.”

Horner is married to Spice Girl pop star Geri Horner

F1 called for a speedy resolution to the investigation last weekend, while Red Bull’s future engine partner Ford insists it holds its company and partners to very high moral standards.

Horner, who back in 2021 signed a contract extension at Red Bull until 2026, was made a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to motorsport, having previously received an OBE in 2013.

He was in charge of Red Bull for six constructors’ championship victories and seven drivers’ championship triumphs – three for Max Verstappen and four for Sebastian Vettel.

Red Bull won 21 out of 22 races in 2023 in their most successful year so far in Formula 1, with Verstappen storming to his third-straight championship.

Yet the investigation has cast a dark cloud over the team’s preparations for the 2024 season, where they and Verstappen will be favourites for title glory once again after the RB20 impressed in testing this week.

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