Christian Horner breaks silence after being cleared by Red Bull of alleged ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Horner has been cleared by his Red Bull team after a complaint of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ from a female colleague

Kieran Jackson
Formula 1 Correspondent
Thursday 29 February 2024 11:02 GMT
Christian Horner: Red Bull F1 boss cleared after investigation into inappropriate behaviour

Christian Horner admits he is “pleased” the investigation into alleged “inappropriate behaviour” is over as the Red Bull F1 boss returned to the paddock in Bahrain on Thursday.

The complaint from a female colleague, first publicised on February 5, alleged “inappropriate, controlling behaviour” against the Red Bull team principal. Horner strongly denied the allegations, both initially and in public at Red Bull’s 2024 F1 car launch in Milton Keynes as well as last week at pre-season testing.

But after an investigation was conducted and completed by an external lawyer, the world champions’ parent company Red Bull GmbH confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that the “grievance” against Horner has been dismissed. The female colleague does, however, have the right to an appeal.

“I’m just pleased that the process is over, I obviously can’t comment about it,” Horner told Sky Sports News on Thursday, ahead of practice at the season-opening race.

“[I’m] here and very much focused now on the grand prix, the season ahead and trying to defend both of our titles.

“I can’t give you any further comment, the process has been conducted and concluded. I’m pleased to be here in Bahrain and focused on the season ahead.

“Within the team it’s [unity has] never been stronger.”

Horner arrived in Bahrain on Wednesday night and will be in position for the first race of the 2024 F1 season this weekend.

A Red Bull GmbH spokesperson said on Wednesday: “The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed.

Christian Horner admits he is ‘pleased’ the probe into his conduct is over after he was cleared of any wrongdoing
Christian Horner admits he is ‘pleased’ the probe into his conduct is over after he was cleared of any wrongdoing (Getty Images)

“The complainant has a right of appeal. Red Bull is confident that the investigation has been fair, rigorous and impartial.

“The investigation report is confidential and contains the private information of the parties and third parties who assisted in the investigation, and therefore we will not be commenting further out of respect for all concerned.

“Red Bull will continue striving to meet the highest workplace standards.”

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.

Sky F1 pundit Martin Brundle insisted the statement, from Red Bull HQ in Salzburg, “drew a firm line” under the matter.

Horner is married to Spice Girl pop star Geri Halliwell
Horner is married to Spice Girl pop star Geri Halliwell (Getty Images)

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 has been 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 into Horner’s conduct 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.

The first race of the 2024 F1 season – featuring a record 24 races – is this Saturday, 2 March, in Bahrain.

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