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Investigation Into F1 Team Principal Christian Horner is Completed

An investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour by the Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner has been completed, according to Sky Sports.

The Austrian parent company of the Formula One team, Red Bull GmbH, had launched the investigation into the team manager earlier in February after a female colleague came forward with an allegation of sexually inappropriate behaviour in December 2023.

An update reported in Sky Sport stated that a resolution to the investigation is unlikely to arrive before Wednesday, 28th February, a few days before the start of the 2024 F1 Grand Prix season in Bahrain on Friday, 1st March.

The external investigation, beginning on 5th February, is said to have yielded a report over 100 pages long and is currently managed by the parent organisation board, which will make the final decision over Horner's future at Red Bull Racing as team principal and chief executive. 

A press conference involving team principles is scheduled for Thursday, 29th February 2024. However, Horner's name is notably absent from the line-up. The meeting is set to include Frédéric Vasseur (Ferrari), Zak Brown (McLaren), Toto Wolff (Mercedes), and Laurent Mekies (Racing Bulls).

When asked about the allegations against Horner, Toto Wolff, also CEO of Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team, reiterated the importance of equality, diversity, fairness, and inclusion in the sport and stated, "It is not just a team issue. It is an issue for all F1".

On Sunday, 25th February 2024, the Associated Press obtained a letter intended for the Red Bull team showing Ford CEO Jim Farley "insisted" on a resolution to the investigation. As Ford is set to become the engine supplier of the Red Bull team in 2026, they are likely uncomfortable with any negative press association that could grow to encompass Ford. The automotive company is the only Red Bull sponsor that appears to have made a public stance on the investigation.

As a former racing driver, Christian Edward Johnston Horner CBE, 50, has been the team principal of the Red Bull Formula One team since 2005, the sport's longest-serving team principal. He rose to mainstream prominence partly due to his role in the hit Netflix series Drive to Survive. The show has recently returned for a sixth season following the 2023 Formula One Championship, which will document his team's massive victory in the Constructors Championship for the sixth time and the Drivers' Championship for the seventh time, with drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez finishing 1st and 2nd, respectively in the latter. 

Horner, married to Spice Girl Geri Halliwell-Horner, has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings and has remained in his position, being seen at the team's car launch and the three days of testing.

The governing body of Formula 1, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, stated Autosport, a weekly motor racing magazine, reiterating after an earlier statement "that until such time as the investigation has concluded and the outcome is known, [they] will not be commenting". No doubt they, and many others, will be watching the outcome of the investigation closely at such a crucial moment for one of the sport's most important players.

Sky Sports did say in its article that information surrounding the specifics of the case is unlikely to be revealed owing to "matters of confidentiality" limiting the amount that could be shared to the public domain.

Editor: Vidhi

Photo Credit: Daily Express


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