Red Bull hearing over Christian Horner allegations set for Friday: Report - Hindustan Times

Red Bull boss Christian Horner to face internal hearing on Friday after 'inappropriate behaviour' accusation: Report

Feb 07, 2024 07:43 AM IST

The reigning Formula 1 champions have been conducting an internal investigations over a complaint against team principal Christian Horner

Reigning Formula One world champions Red Bull Racing will reportedly hold its company hearing over recent allegations against team principal Christian Horner on Friday. The team or its parent company, Austrian energy drink giant Red Bull, have thus far made no public comments on the hearing or the contents of the complaint that triggered an internal investigation leading up to it. However, Horner himself has been quoted as saying by an Dutch news outlet that he denies the accusations.

Christian Horner has led Red Bull since the team entered Formula 1 in 2005(AFP)
Christian Horner has led Red Bull since the team entered Formula 1 in 2005(AFP)

The hearing will take place in the team's factory in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, according to Reuters. Red Bull Austria had said in a statement on Monday that they were investigating a "recent complaint" made against Horner. "After being made aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation," it had said. “This process, which is already under way, is being carried out by an external specialist barrister. The company takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

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While there has been no official update on the nature of the complaints, the BBC reports that it accuses Horner, who has been team principal since its formation in 2005 after the energy drink manufacturer bought the Jaguar F1 Team, of "inappropriate behaviour of a controlling nature".

Horner, who is married to former Spice Girls singer Geri Halliwell, has been quoted by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf saying he completely denies the allegations. The 50-year-old and his team celebrated the most dominant season in Formula One history last year, with Dutch driver Max Verstappen taking his third title in a row and Red Bull winning 21 of 22 races. The Briton is the longest serving team boss in Formula One and was by far the youngest when he led Red Bull into the sport in 2005.

Red Bull have won six constructors' championships and seven drivers' titles under Horner and are favourites for another season of domination. Chief technical officer and legendary formula one engineer Adrian Newey and Horner have been at the centre of the team's successor and it is understood that the former could leave if the latter is forced to step down. The effect of Horner stepping down could hence possibly end Red Bull's dominance and have a seismic effect on the sport itself.

Red Bull's other main man in the paddock is Austrian motorsport consultant and former racer Helmut Marko, who is now 80-years-old, not a team employee and not believed to have any leadership ambitions. Marko has also been controversial, receiving a written warning from the sport's governing body last September after he blamed the patchy form of the team's Mexican driver Sergio Perez on his ethnicity. There have been reports of friction between Horner and Marko since the death in October 2022 of Red Bull's Austrian co-owner Dietrich Mateschitz and the arrival of new leadership at the energy drink brand.

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