Christian Horner will attend a personal hearing at Red Bull’s headquarters to decide his future with the team, after accusations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ were levelled against the long-serving Formula 1 team principal on Monday.
Horner has been with the team since 2005 and overseen six constructors’ championship titles, as well as seven drivers’ triumphs. But he is facing uncertainty over his future with the team after a bombshell story stunned the F1 paddock to its core.
Red Bull confirmed in a statement that they had opened an internal investigation into the supremo, 50, following a complaint from a member of the team. He has denied the allegations against him.
It read: “This investigation, which is already underway, is being carried out by an external specialist lawyer. The company takes these matters very seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as possible.”
It has since been leaked that a private hearing for Horner will take place at Red Bull’s headquarters on Friday, where a decision will be made on his future. According to F1 Insider, the possibility of the Briton voluntarily resigning from his role is ‘out of the question’. It comes just weeks after he was awarded a CBE by King Charles for his services to motorsport.
There has been little information as to what the allegations pertain to, other than the information provided in the British media that a female employee – who has not been named – allegedly complained about Horner’s ‘aggressive’ leadership. Bild claim that ‘clear photos’ will play a key role in the outcome of the investigation and hearing.
Horner lacking internal support
Horner’s position has looked increasingly vulnerable ever since the death of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz in 2023, with a complete reorganisation at the top of the company taking place and Oliver Mintzlaff, previously involved with German football team RB Leipzig, taking up the job of CEO of Corporate Projects and New Investments.
Rumours surfaced in Austria that Horner was preparing to cut ties with Helmut Marko, the team’s special advisor, after a series of controversial incidents. Instead, the 80-year-old’s contract was extended to 2026 and Horner’s ‘coup’, as it has been described as, ultimately failed.
Marko is a key powerbroker in the team, and the fact he cannot rely on his support puts Horner in a difficult position. What’s more, Red Bull’s chief designer Adrian Newey is unlikely to come to his aid despite their close bond, as it it is understood that Newey has vowed to stay put no matter what happens.
If he does depart, it is believed that sporting director Jonathan Wheatley could step in to represent the team for their RB20 car launch on February 15.