Zak Brown: McLaren would be honest about Christian Horner decision

Christian Horner was cleared of coercive and controlling behaviour after an internal investigation by Red Bull


McLaren’s CEO Zak Brown promised his team would have been ‘transparent’ about the decision to clear Christian Horner of inappropriate conduct after Red Bull GmbH declared they would no longer comment on it.

Horner was accused of controlling and coercive behaviour by a female employee, which was thought to be connected to his management style as the team principal of the defending world champions.

But on Wednesday, February 28, the 50-year-old was cleared following an investigation by an external lawyer, with Red Bull stressing they will no longer comment due to the sensitive information involved and that the ‘grievance’ has been dismissed.

“I’m very confident at McLaren,” Brown told the media when asked how he would have handled the Horner situation. “I think like most companies, we’ve had issues that we’ve had to deal with, and we deal with them in a very transparent, fair, and swift manner and that’s all I can say.

Brown added: “I think this the other topic [Horner] is one that really needs to be dealt with. By the regulator. They’re the ones that have the authority and responsibility to do so.”

Red Bull‘s statement closing the investigation contained no further details of the allegations themselves but a leak supposedly containing evidence against Horner was leaked online around 24 hours later.

Even before the investigation closed there were reports suggesting it could be a complaint about sexually-related messages with the lack of clarity on which one it was really highlighting how in-the-dark everyone has been kept on the topic.

So, in summary, we still have no idea what has actually happened and that’s led to significant figures such as Toto Wolff, the Mercedes boss, to criticise the secrecy saying it lacks the openness required of the modern world and the McLaren CEO admitted he would’ve handled the situation differently.

Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner ahead of the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix |  Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner ahead of the 2023 Mexico City Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

What did Red Bull say?

After an almost month-long process, Red Bull’s Austrian holding company declared that Horner is free to continue in his duties and the case has been dismissed, although they did confirm that the employee has the right to appeal the decision.

The process had seen Red Bull turn to an external lawyer and Horner face an eight-hour long enquiry in London to explain the case to the two owners of the company before they sided with him.

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

“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.”

- 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 -