Fresh details emerge in allegations against Red Bull Formula 1 boss Christian Horner


Fresh details have emerged over the bombshell allegation against Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner.

Red Bull Racing chief Horner is due to be probed by a lawyer on Saturday (AEDT) over shock allegations of “inappropriate behaviour”.

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Red Bull, the Austrian energy drinks company that owns the team, confirmed earlier this week an independent investigation into Horner had been launched.

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported the allegation was made by another member of staff for the British-based team, which last year carried Max Verstappen to his third consecutive world title.

Horner, 50, who has been Red Bull team principal since 2005, strongly rejects the accusation.

In a statement released on Monday, Red Bull said: “After being made aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation.

“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.”

Asked about the accusations, Horner told De Telegraaf: “I completely deny these claims.”

While there had been speculation and even assumptions about the nature of the allegations, sources have told The Sun the investigation is set to centre on a female employee’s concerns about Horner’s strict work regime and does not relate to any sexual impropriety.

“Christian had concerns about her conduct and made it clear he was unhappy,” the F1 source said.

“She went on to make a complaint about his ‘controlling’ behaviour, which detonated this crisis for the team.”

One F1 source claimed a deliberate attempt was being made to destabilise Horner.

Rumours of a power struggle have dogged Red Bull Racing since the death of Horner’s ally and billionaire co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz in 2022.

Last year, Horner played down rumours of a rift with Red Bull F1 director Helmut Marko, 80, as a “small difference of opinion”.

Horner’s Spice Girl wife Geri Halliwell, 51, is standing by her husband, who will be quizzed by an independent lawyer appointed to examine the woman’s claims at a meeting in the UK.

Halliwell has reportedly told pals she does not believe the gossip that has been swirling for days.

A source close to the Ginger Spice star said: “Geri has been in floods of tears all weekend while looking after her kids.

“She is insisting Christian has done nothing wrong.”

Neither Horner nor his accuser have been suspended and continue to work among 1,600 employees at the Austrian team’s HQ in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

Another source told The Sun: “It’s an awkward situation but it’s unavoidable until the air is cleared and this matter is resolved.”

Red Bull is said to want the issue sorted out before the first race weekend of the new F1 season, which starts in Bahrain at the end of the month.

Since Horner took over as team principal in 2005, Red Bull has won seven F1 world drivers’ championships and six world constructors’ titles.

When asked about allegations made against Horner, his rival team boss at Williams, James Vowles, said: “I think it means we all have to look each other in the mirror and make sure we are posing the right questions internally and acting in a way that we can only be proud of, not today but in the next 10 years.”

Horner, who married Halliwell in 2015, has an estimated salary of US$15 million ($23 million) at Red Bull and has been preparing for the 2024 season.

The first race is in Bahrain on March 2, however Horner has reportedly been advised to step down from his position amid the investigation into him.

He described the allegations as “nuts” in a message to Mail Online.

His defenders reportedly claimed the accusations are part of a plot to oust him within the team in an internal power struggle.

Red Bull won 21 of the 22 races staged last year, with Verstappen setting a record of 10 consecutive victories as he cruised to his third straight title.

Red Bull are due to launch their latest car on February 15 ahead of the new season.

– with The Sun and AFP

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