Verstappen highlights Horner’s Red Bull role amid probe conclusion

Red Bull are expected to announce the outcome of their investigation into Christian Horner before the start of free practice at the 2024 Bahrain GP

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Max Verstappen revealed how important Christian Horner is around Red Bull in the short and long term ahead of the team’s expected announcement on its investigation into the team principal for inappropriate behaviour.

The investigation was launched in early February by Red Bull GmbH – the Formula 1 team’s parent company – after allegations were made by a female employee regarding Horner‘s conduct.

It’s thought that the team will announce their conclusion before a wheel has been turned on the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, but Horner is present at the Bahrain International Circuit and has previously faced the media at Red Bull‘s 2024 car launch and pre-season testing.

“I think he is very important, otherwise he wouldn’t be in that position for such a long time, right?” Verstappen told the media in Bahrain. “Let’s say if your team boss disappears for one or two races for whatever reason, not much is going to happen because everyone is in their role and they know what they want to have to do in the short term.

Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing during day three of 2024 F1 Testing | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing during day three of 2024 F1 Testing | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“But it’s all about people management over time. And then of course, things will start to be different if one of the leaders starts to not be there anymore. But we’re not thinking like that, we just trust the process that we are in as a team to see what the outcome will be.

“And besides that, at the moment, everyone is just very focused on the performance here at the track and everyone is in a good mood and just excited to get going again.”

Verstappen refuses to reveal investigation process

From that first appearance at the launch of the RB20, Red Bull Racing‘s messaging has consistently reinforced that the investigation isn’t proving overly distracting to the team and that it’s business as usual.

It’s been a successful February on-track with Verstappen looking supremely comfortable at testing and already the overwhelming favourite to become champion in 2024 secure his fourth consecutive drivers’ title.

But the Bahrain International Circuit hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for Verstappen – he’s won just once there in eight attempts with Red Bull. And ahead of the weekend getting underway, Verstappen was asked for more details on the investigation.

“I don’t want to get into that, because it’s not my case anyway and I don’t want to be involved,” Verstappen said. “But as a team, we do trust that process and we just have to be patient because there’s no need to start saying things, start screaming things out loud. You have to be patient. I think I’ve learned that over the years anyway.”

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, 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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