Toto Wolff brands Red Bull statement on Horner ‘basic’ and ‘lacks transparency’

Christian Horner was accused of controlling and coercive behaviour but Red Bull dismissed the allegations after an internal investigation


Christian Horner might have been cleared of inappropriate behaviour by Red Bull GmbH but the matter is far from over as the Mercedes team principal, Toto Wolff, slammed the statement for lacking the openness required in modern sport.

Horner’s name came under serious accusations of misconduct to a female member of staff at Red Bull Racing, with some outlets even suggesting that he had engaged in sexually suggestive messaging which was considered inappropriate.

But on Wednesday, February 28, Red Bull released a statement saying that their investigation was “fair, rigorous and impartial” and that the “grievance” has been dismissed, allowing him to continue in his role as team principal.

They further added that the report is confidential and private information and that no additional comments will be added, leading to Horner’s long-time rival in Wolff to slam the statement’s privacy.

“Basic,” Wolff said when asked his opinion on the statement. “My personal opinion is we we can’t really look at behind the curtain.

“At the end of the day there is a lady in an organization that has that has spoken to HR and said there is an issue and it was investigated.

“And yesterday, the sport received a message, ‘It’s all fine. We’ve looked at it,’ and I believe that with desperation, as a global sport, on such critical topics it needs more transparency.

“And I wonder where the sport is? What the sports position is. We are competitors. We are team and we can have our own personal opinions or not, but it’s more like a general reaction or action that we as a sport we need to assess what is right in that situation and what is wrong.”

Wolff warns of impact on F1

An abuse scandal is certainly nothing that the sport wants to be associated with and even Red Bull’s future engine sponsor, Ford, alluded to the reputational damage it could have received if Horner wasn’t cleared of the charges.

Wolff further alluded to this by warning that Red Bull GmbH and Liberty Media have a “duty” to the sport to be open about what exactly happened and why they have decided to dismiss the claim against the 50-year-old’s name.

This could be a surprisingly personal matter to Wolff after his own wife, Susie, was accused of giving confidential information to the Mercedes boss by a media outlet.

Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner at 2024 F1 Testing | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner at 2024 F1 Testing | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

She was then investigated by the FIA and quickly cleared of any wrongdoing so the lack of transparency on Horner‘s case, with a more serious accusation against him, could be a personal gripe.

“I just simply think that as a sport,” Wolff added. “We cannot we cannot afford to leave things vague and opaque on critical topics like this because it’s going to catch us out eventually.

“We are in a super transparent world, things are gonna happen and I think the organisation has a duty to say, ‘Well, we’ve looked at it and here’s where it’s okay,’ and then we can move on.

“I think it’s sometimes very short sighted to try to suppress it but I’m not saying this has happened. We’re standing from the outside and looking at it through just statements or press releases.

“It just seems that it’s not as modern as things go in this world, in the real world out there, but maybe in F1 we just have a little bubble and we think we think that’s okay.”

- Advertisment -


Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner and Max Verstappen talk in the Paddock ahead of 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Fiery Horner reignites Wolff feud over Verstappen rumours: I don’t think Toto’s problems are...

Christian Horner launched a stinging attack on Toto Wolff over the Mercedes team principal stoking rumours that Max Verstappen...
Toto Wolff at 2023 United States Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sebastian Kawka

Toto Wolff in ‘simple minds’ jibe at Horner over Max Verstappen

Toto Wolff has aimed a thinly-veiled swipe at Christian Horner by suggesting only 'simple minds' believe Max Verstappen would...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Sprint Qualifying ahead of 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Daniel Ricciardo handed grid penalty for 2024 Miami Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo's challenging weekend at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix has been compounded by a three-grid place penalty issued...
Guanyu Zhou gets emotional on the grid after the 2024 Chinese GP | Sauber

Zhou Guanyu in tears after making F1 history

In an emotionally charged scene at the end of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, Sauber's Zhou Guanyu achieved...
Carlos Sainz during 2024 Chinese GP weekend | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Sainz channels inner Jose Mourinho to slam Leclerc for ‘costly’ Chinese GP incident

Carlos Sainz blamed Charles Leclerc for costing Ferrari two positions at the start of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix,...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during Day 1 of 2024 F1 Testing in Bahrain | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“F*ck that guy” – Seething Daniel Ricciardo slams Lance Stroll for Chinese GP crash

Daniel Ricciardo laid into Lance Stroll for the Canadian’s role in their 2024 Chinese Grand Prix crash that saw...
F1 2024 Chinese GP winner Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen wants more after 2024 Chinese GP victory: Issues Red Bull demand

Max Verstappen might have crushed the opposition at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix to extend his championship lead to...
Lewis Hamilton at 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / Sam Bloxham

Lewis Hamilton relying on Miami upgrade after damning Mercedes message

Lewis Hamilton is holding out hope that Mercedes will bring upgrades to their car in time for the Miami...
Race winner Max Verstappen celebrates after 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen clinches stop-start Chinese GP win as Norris holds off Perez for second

Max Verstappen cruised to victory in the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix as the result never looked in doubt despite...
Max Verstappen leads Lando Norris of McLaren during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 2024 Chinese GP: Driver of the Day

McLaren star Lando Norris has been named Driver of the Day after his stellar performance at the Formula 1...
- Advertisment -