Christian Horner faces eight-hour grilling with Red Bull future uncertain

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner in August 2023
Christian Horner is fighting for his career after allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ towards a female colleague - PA/Tim Goode

Christian Horner faced an eight-hour grilling from a top lawyer on Friday as the Red Bull team principal’s future remained in the balance.

Horner, 50, has been accused by a female colleague of “inappropriate behaviour”, understood to be of a controlling nature.

Red Bull’s parent company Red Bull GmBH triggered an investigation earlier this week after being made aware of the claims. It said it was taking the matter “extremely seriously”, hiring an external specialist lawyer.

Horner has denied the allegations both publicly and in private, interrupting a meeting of the F1 Commission in London earlier this week to tell his fellow team principals that he was innocent.

His interview, which took place in London, began in the morning and lasted until early evening.

Hopes that the matter might be resolved before Red Bull launch their new challenger next Thursday are fading.

Horner’s accuser has not yet spoken to the investigator, and it is thought Horner could be brought back for another interview after that to address any additional questions the lawyer has once he has spoken to her.

The lawyer would then presumably need time to compile his report for Red Bull GmBH in Austria.

Horner expected to attend launch of new car

Pre-season testing takes place in Bahrain the week after next, from February 21-23. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that the investigation could still be ongoing when Red Bull begin the defence of their latest title, also in Bahrain, on March 2.

In any case, there are currently no plans to cancel the launch of the RB20, celebrating Red Bull’s 20th season in F1.

Horner, who like his accuser is continuing to work as normal, is expected to attend the event on February 15, although he would not be able to talk about an ongoing investigation.

Horner has been Red Bull team principal since they entered F1 19 years ago and is the longest-serving boss on the grid. During that period he has overseen seven drivers’ world championships and six constructors’ titles.

Last year they won 21 of the 22 races, with Dutch driver Max Verstappen setting a new record of 10 consecutive victories.

Meanwhile, there are reports that Red Bull have made an offer to their ex-driver Alex Albon to return to them when his Williams contract expires at the end of 2025.

Albon, 27, is much in demand after an excellent season for the Grove-based team, with his name consistently being mentioned as a possible replacement for Lewis Hamilton when the seven-time world champion departs Mercedes for Ferrari next season.

Albon is, however, under contract with Williams until the end of 2025 and it remains to be seen whether Toto Wolff can or indeed wants to try to prise him away from Grove a year early.

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