Rival F1 Team Bosses Call for More Transparency in Red Bull’s Christian Horner Investigation

Jackson Wheeler
6 Min Read

While Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner has been cleared of wrongdoing by the team following a female employee’s accusations of inappropriate behavior, rival team bosses say the would like to see more transparency in the findings from that investigation.

Neither the exact nature of the accusation nor the findings of Red Bull’s internal investigation have been made public nor even shared with those within the Formula 1 paddock. And that’s not sitting too well with rival team principals, some of whom say that more than just people inside the sport are watching how this is playing out.

On Wednesday, Red Bull announced a no-harm, no-foul decision following an internal investigation. Earlier today, Horner offered the following statement—his first public comments—regarding the verdict.

“I won’t comment on anonymous speculation, but to reiterate I have always denied the allegations, I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully cooperated with it every step of the way,” Horner said in a prepared statement. “It was a thorough and fair investigation conducted by an independent specialist barrister and it has concluded dismissing the complaint made. I remain fully focused on the start of the season.”

Horner is being allowed to remain in his role as the leader of the sport’s dominant team.

“At the end of the day, there is a lady in an organization that has spoken to HR and said there is an issue and it was investigated and yesterday, you know, the sport has received the message, it’s all fine, we’ve looked at it.” Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said today during media availability in Bahrain. “I believe that with the aspiration as a global sport on such critical topics, it needs more transparency. And I wonder what the sport’s position is.

“We are competitors, we are a 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 need to assess what is right in that situation and what is wrong.”

Red Bull issued the following statement on Wednesday, ahead of this weekend’s season-opening F1 race in Bahrain:

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

McLaren team principal Zak Brown echoed Wolff’s call for more transparency.

“I read the statement,” Brown said. “I think from what I’ve seen, there continues to be a lot of rumors and speculation, questions. I think the sanctioning body has a responsibility and authority to our sport to our fans.

“I think all of us in Formula 1 are ambassadors for the sport on and off the track, like you see in other sports and so I think they need to make sure that things have been fully transparent with them. I don’t know what those conversations are and it needs to be thorough, fully transparent, and that they come to the same conclusion that has been given by Red Bull and that they agree with the outcome.

“But I think until then, there’ll continue to be speculation because there are a lot of unanswered questions about the whole process, and so I think that’s what’s needed by those that run the sport to really be able to draw a line under it. Until then, I think there’ll continue to be some level of speculation by people, and I don’t think that’s healthy for the sport.”

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 Speedofdaily.com, 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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