Christian Horner cleared by Red Bull of ‘inappropriate behaviour’

Christian Horner continued with Red Bull while the investigation was ongoing, ahead of the Bahrain GP to open the 2024 F1 season

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Red Bull Racing team principal and CEO Christian Horner has been cleared of any wrongdoing by parent company Red Bull GmbH after an investigation into allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ made by a female employee.

The investigation was announced in early February but Horner has continued to carry out his commitments as Red Bull boss including facing the media at preseason testing and at the launch of the RB20.

Red Bull‘s aim was always to have the investigation concluded ahead of cars hitting the track at the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, but their announcement added there is the possibility of an appeal.

“The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed,” a Red Bull statement read.

“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. Red Bull will continue striving to meet the highest workplace standards.”

What happened between Horner and Red Bull employee?

In early February 2024, the Formula 1 world was shocked when Red Bull released a statement saying that they were aware of allegations against the 50-year-old team boss, and that they were conducting an internal investigation following the news was leaked to the Dutch media.

They are allegations that Horner has repeatedly denied but the story has only grown deeper since then and appeared increasingly serious with the holding company for the F1 team appointing an external lawyer to investigate the matter. But what are the allegations?

At the moment it could relate to one of two things, and it is unclear which it is. One claim suggests that the six-time F1 world champion boss had an aggressive management style which has left an ex-employee upset after he crossed the line, as reported by the Associated Press.

Whilst the second is far graver and claims that he has been sexually harassing the woman by sending “sexually suggestive” text messages, reportedly offering a £650,000 settlement to pay her off, this claim coming from the same De Telegraaf publication that broke the news.

This is said to have happened over “an extended period of time” with messages saved and presented to the enquiry.

According to Sky Sports F1’s Craig Slater, there are over 50 hours’ worth of interviews and over 145 pages of evidence either in favour of his conduct or against it, which helped a three-man Red Bull GmBH panel make their decision.

Horner had the backing of both of the Red Bull family owners, the Yoovidhya family (51%) and Mark Mateschitz (49%) and he had called the allegations a “distraction” ahead of the F1 season, refusing to quit after 20 years in the role of team principal.

The Red Bull figurehead has remained in his position through the launch of their 2024 car and F1 testing and will be at the 2024 Bahrain GP after he flew out to the Arab nation to prepare for the season opener on March 2.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, and previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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