Another Uncomfortable F1 Week for Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner

Jackson Wheeler
6 Min Read

  • Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was cleared last week of misconduct charges by parent company Red Bull GmbH following an internal investigation.
  • The company declined to go into any detail about the exact accusations or findings.
  • Today, it was learned that Horner’s accuser has been suspended, with pay.

Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner is having another uncomfortable weekend at the office, answering more questions about an allegation of inappropriate behavior than about his world championship race team.

The story took another twist on Thursday, when it was reported by several media outlets and confirmed by ESPN that the Red Bull Racing employee who accused Horner of inappropriate behavior has been suspended, reportedly with pay.

Horner was cleared of the charges by Red Bull following an internal investigation. That announcement came on Feb. 28, though the company declined to go into any detail about the exact accusations or findings.

Horner addressed the media today in Saudi Arabia, site of Saturday night’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“You know, there’s been one thing after another,” Horner said. “And I think that, you know, as I say, there’s been an awful lot of leakage around this, what is a private and confidential matter between the employees and the company. It’s unfortunately through that, through that leakage, it has garnered an awful lot of coverage.

“And as I say, it’s now time to focus on the track and what we’re here to do which is to go racing. And you know we’re a race team. We’ve got some phenomenal partners that have been hugely supportive through this. The team, the company, the 1,600 people that work within the group, I have to thank them as well for their support. And, yeah, you know, it’s time to move on.”

The media, and even some inside the inner circle of Red Bull Racing, have been slow to let this issue go and move on, however. Even Jos Verstappen, father of Red Bull champion driver Max Verstappen, has said the Horner episode threatens to “explode the team.”

Jos has suggested the Horner needs to go.

Max Verstappen defended his father, and was was quoted in The Guardian saying, ” “I have not asked him that but my dad … is very outspoken and he is not a liar, that is for sure,” Max Verstappen said. “My dad and I are very close. We call every day.”

Earlier this week, seven-time F1 champion and Red Bull rival Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes weighed in.

“It’s a really, really important time for the sport to show and stick to its values, hold ourselves accountable for our actions, and it’s a really, really pivotal moment for the sport in terms of what we project to the world and how it’s handled,” Hamilton said.

Horner was asked if the accusations and surrounding media scrutiny threaten his own legacy and future with the team that has won six Formula 1 Constructors’ Championships with him calling the shots.

“Well, obviously, there’s been an awful lot of coverage surrounding this, but one has to go back to the basis of this,” Horner said. “A grievance was raised, it was fully investigated, and it was dismissed. And from there, we move onwards. And I think an awful lot has been made out of this.

“Obviously, it has been obviously of great interest in different elements of the media for different reasons. And I think the time now is to look forward and to draw a line under it. We’re here to go racing. We’re here as a Formula 1 team. And the time now is to focus on what is going on on track and the performance of the cars and the drivers and where the spotlight should be during the course of a Grand Prix weekend.”

Headshot of Mike Pryson

Mike Pryson covered auto racing for the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot and MLive Media Group from 1991 until joining Autoweek in 2011. He won several Michigan Associated Press and national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for auto racing coverage and was named the 2000 Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club’s Michigan Motorsports Writer of the Year. A Michigan native, Mike spent three years after college working in southwest Florida before realizing that the land of Disney and endless summer was no match for the challenge of freezing rain, potholes and long, cold winters in the Motor City.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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