Formula 1 Correspondent
10:26 AM 7th February 2024
Red Bull’s Christian Horner Under Investigation
Just days after the Formula 1 world was rocked by Sir Lewis Hamilton’s announcement that he is to leave Mercedes at the end of this season to join its Italian close rivals, Ferrari, another bombshell has been dropped in the form of Red Bull team principal Christian Horner being investigated following allegations by a female member of staff about “controlling behaviour”.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner
News of such allegations swirled privately within the F1 world last weekend and became public knowledge on Monday when the Red Bull drinks company’s worldwide head office in Austria revealed that it had received such a complaint directly and not via its racing team. The statement also indicated that it had already appointed a UK KC to undertake an independent investigation.
50-year-old Horner, who is married to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, fully denies any wrongdoing and has been working as normal this week in his office at the team’s Milton Keynes base. He is due to be interviewed by the KC on Friday, with the outcome of the investigation expected before the launch of Red Bull’s new RB20 car on Thursday of next week.
A former racing driver, if not quite at Formula 1 level, Horner has been a very effective leader of the Red Bull team since its entry into F1 back in 2005, and multiple Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship titles have been achieved since, assisted by leading drivers such as Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. Last season, the team won 21 of the 22 Grands Prix with one of the mightiest displays of dominance the sport has ever witnessed, and its lead driver, Verstappen, was imperious as he notched up his own third world title in a row. Horner was in the headlines recently for very different reasons, having been awarded a CBE for services to motorsport in the latest New Year Honours List, following his OBE for the same back in 2013.
Horner with his wife Geri in discussion with a famous footballer!
Horner is very popular with Red Bull team staff, both amongst all those with whom he travels every race weekend and the even greater number who work for the outfit in Milton Keynes. He used to be close to the Red Bull drinks co-founder, Dietrich Mateschitz, but, following the latter’s death in October 2022, the management structure of the global company has changed, and it is possible that this latest issue may relate to a power struggle between members of Red Bull’s Austrian management and Horner.
I have always found Horner to be highly likeable and approachable, and it will be interesting to see what the outcome of this latest allegation is.