Christian Horner cleared of allegations of inappropriate behaviour

Christian Horner cleared of allegations of inappropriate behaviour

28 Feb    Finance News, News

Christian Horner, the team principal of Oracle Red Bull Racing, has been cleared of misconduct following an independent investigation  following allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a female employee prompted an inquiry by team owners Red Bull.

The 50-year-old Horner has been vindicated by an independent barrister tasked with reviewing the evidence.  The statement from a Red Bull spokesperson read: “The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed.

“The complainant has a right of appeal.

“Red Bull is confident that the investigation has been fair, rigorous and impartial.

“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.

This development will come as a significant relief for Horner, especially with the Formula 1 season opener in Bahrain looming this weekend.

The intense media scrutiny that ensued after Red Bull Austria confirmed the internal inquiry about three and a half weeks ago has reportedly taken a toll on Horner, even affecting his personal life with his wife, Geri Halliwell. Despite the strain, Horner expressed gratitude for his wife’s support during the team’s car launch event in Milton Keynes. However, sources suggest the situation has been challenging for her.

The allegations against Horner, which included claims of controlling behaviour, led to a comprehensive ten-hour interrogation by legal counsel in London. Horner vehemently denied any wrongdoing throughout the process and continued his duties amidst the scrutiny. Notably, both Horner and his accuser were observed working at the Milton Keynes office earlier this week.

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Pressure from sponsors, notably Ford, intensified the situation, with calls for a swift resolution to the crisis. However, reports suggesting additional allegations of sexual misconduct based on purported messages sent by Horner have not been substantiated by evidence in the complaint itself.

The recent passing of Dietrich Mateschitz, the Red Bull co-founder and a staunch supporter of Horner, has left the team principal more vulnerable. While Horner reportedly retains support from majority owner Chaleo Yoovidhya, opinions within the team hierarchy regarding his future remain divided, potentially leading to changes instigated by Red Bull Austria.

Amidst the uncertainty, reigning Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen refrained from publicly endorsing Horner, emphasizing the importance of trust in the ongoing process. Verstappen highlighted the short-term impact of leadership changes on race performance and stressed the need for clarity in long-term decision-making.

Lewis Hamilton, when asked about Horner’s continued involvement amid ongoing investigations, emphasized the importance of addressing allegations seriously while ensuring a safe and inclusive environment within the sport. He underscored the significance of this moment for Formula 1 to uphold its values moving forward.


Paul Jones

Editor of Business Matters, the UKs largest business magazine, and head of Capital Business Media’s automotive division working for clients such as Aston Martin and Infiniti.

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