Formula 1 | Red Bull and its boss Christian Horner in turmoil

(Sakhir) Will Red Bull boss Christian Horner fall? Apparently saved after an internal investigation cleared him on Wednesday of accusations of “inappropriate behavior” towards an employee of the F1 team, he must defend himself again, after the wide distribution on Thursday of an anonymous email on this matter.

Friday, in Bahrain, he was very present in the paddock in Sakhir, where the Bahrain Grand Prix is ​​to be held on Saturday, kick-off of the season, noted AFP journalists. Red Bull and its star driver Max Verstappen are the huge favorites for this new exercise.

Thursday evening, the day after his “acquittal”, Christian Horner once again had to deny “anonymous speculation” about any inappropriate behavior on his part after sending an email sent by an anonymous sender to journalists following F1, to motorsport officials or even to competing teams.

The contents of this email, including WhatsApp messages allegedly written by Horner, cannot be independently verified.

Asked by AFP, Red Bull’s parent company responded that it was “a private matter between Mr. Horner and another person, it would be inappropriate for Red Bull to comment on this subject” .

On Wednesday, however, the Austrian company thought it had turned the page by announcing that the internal investigation it had opened had led it to clear Christian Horner of what he was accused of.

“I respected the probity of the independent investigation and cooperated fully with it at every stage. It was a thorough and fair investigation carried out by an independent specialist lawyer, who concluded that the complaint filed was dismissed,” noted Christian Horner, married to ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.

Very laconic, the Red Bull press release gave no details on the merits of the case, Red Bull explaining that “the investigation report (was) confidential and (contained) private information on the parties and third parties who participated to the investigation.” The alleged facts targeting the British leader have never been officially made public by the team, or even the parent company.

Lack of transparency

In the small world of F1, there is only talk of this affair which was revealed at the beginning of February when a first article appeared in the Dutch press.

“This is a very important time for sport to ensure we stay true to our values. We do not know everything that happened, but we must resolve this problem, because it weighs on the sport,” said Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) on Wednesday, quick to take a position on the issues of combating sexism and discrimination.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff called for “more transparency” in this matter.

“There will still be a lot of speculation, as many questions remain unanswered about the whole process,” added Zak Brown, CEO of McLaren, before sending the anonymous email. “And that’s what those who run the sport need to be able to really put a stop to it.”

Dutch star Max Verstappen remains discreet. Asked if he supported “100% Christian and the way he leads the team”, he was satisfied with the minimum service: “I trust the process (…), but apart from that, when we are talking about performance, it is of course very important that everyone sticks together. »

“If the team boss disappears for whatever reason during one or two races, not much will happen, because everyone knows what he has to do,” the Dutchman also replied on Wednesday. “Things will obviously start to change if one of the leaders is no longer there, but we’re not thinking about that.”

It was Wednesday a few hours before the verdict of the internal investigation, since “Mad Max” has been silent.


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