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Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner cleared in internal investigation amid allegations of 'inappropriate behaviour'

By Mathilda Bartholomew | February 29, 2024

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"Red Bull is confident that the investigation has been fair, rigorous, and impartial," stated a spokesperson for the company.

Red Bull's team principal Christian Horner cleared in internal investigation amid allegations of 'inappropriate behaviour'

Red Bull's team principal, Christian Horner, has been exonerated following an internal investigation into allegations of inappropriate and controlling behaviour towards a female colleague.

"Red Bull is confident that the investigation has been fair, rigorous, and impartial," stated a spokesperson for the company.

Horner, at the helm of Red Bull since 2005, vehemently denied the accusations and will continue in his capacities as team principal and chief executive of Red Bull F1.

In a statement issued by Red Bull's head office in Austria, it was noted, "The complainant has a right of appeal." However, no specifics regarding the allegations or the investigation were disclosed.

"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 statement added.

Details of the allegations surfaced on February 5th, and the decision to clear Horner comes after an eight-week investigation, made public early this month following a meeting of the company's board of directors.

Lewis Hamilton, speaking at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, emphasised the significance of the investigation as a "really important moment to make sure we stand true to our values." He expressed the need for continuous efforts to create a safe and inclusive environment in the sport.

Last week, Ford, set to be Red Bull's engine partner in F1 from 2026, expressed frustration over the time taken for the investigation and Red Bull's lack of transparency. Ford CEO Jim Farley's letter, leaked to the Associated Press, highlighted the company's growing impatience and the desire for a clear and just resolution.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull's three-time world champion, voiced his trust in the investigation process while avoiding direct answers when asked about his full faith in Horner as team principal.

The timeline of events began on February 5th, when Red Bull acknowledged the seriousness of the allegations and initiated an independent investigation. On the same day, Horner, in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, asserted, "I completely deny these claims."

Interviewed by a lawyer on February 9th, Horner's case concluded without resolution. The allegations cast a shadow over the launch of Red Bull's new Formula 1 car on February 15th, where Horner reiterated the denial, labelling it a "distraction" for his team.

Horner, who took over as Red Bull team principal in 2005, has led the team to seven drivers' championships and six constructors' championships. He received an OBE in 2013 and was appointed a CBE in the New Year's Honors list last year.

During pre-season testing, Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal, called for transparency in the investigation, stating it was an issue for all of Formula 1. F1's commercial rights holders urged Red Bull to provide clarity at the earliest opportunity, emphasising a fair and thorough process.

The FIA, the governing body, declared it would refrain from commenting until the investigation concludes, emphasising their commitment to upholding the highest standards of integrity, fairness, and inclusivity within the sport.

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