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Christian Horner – latest: Female accuser makes complaint to FIA after Red Bull appeal

Christian Horner’s accuser has appealed against the decision to clear the Red Bull team principal after allegations of controlling behaviour – and has made a complaint to the sport’s governing body, the FIA.

The female employee was suspended by Red Bull after an investigation dismissed the complainant’s grievance earlier this month. But now she has lodged a formal appeal with the F1 team’s parent company in the latest twist to a saga that has sparked speculation surrounding Max Verstappen’s future with the team, and the prospect of Red Bull staff leaving too.

The employee, who reportedly felt ‘let down’ after the investigation, is understood to have been suspended on full pay as a direct result of Red Bull’s inquiry, which concluded at the end of last month.

The complainant was told she had acted dishonestly and received a legal letter, which gave her five working days on receipt of the letter, to appeal against the outcome of the investigation. The BBC also report that she has lodged a complaint with the FIA’s ethics committee.

Follow all the latest updates with The Independent

CHRISTIAN HORNER - LATEST NEWS

  • LATEST: Christian Horner’s accuser has lodged a complaint with the FIA

  • NEW: Max Verstappen ‘doesn’t like questions’ about Christian Horner saga, says father Jos

  • The female colleague has also appealed the outcome of Red Bull’s investigation

  • Horner was cleared of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ before the complainant was susepended

  • The Red Bull boss is expected to be present at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend

Christian Horner – latest: Female accuser makes complaint to FIA after Red Bull appeal

09:50 , Kieran Jackson

Christian Horner’s accuser has appealed against the decision to clear the Red Bull team principal after allegations of controlling behaviour – and has reportedly made a complaint to the sport’s governing body, the FIA.

The female employee was suspended by Red Bull after an investigation dismissed the complainant’s grievance earlier this month. But now she has lodged a formal appeal with the F1 team’s parent company in the latest twist to a saga that has sparked speculation surrounding Max Verstappen’s future with the team, and the prospect of Red Bull staff leaving too.

The employee, who reportedly felt ‘let down’ after the investigation, is understood to have been suspended on full pay as a direct result of Red Bull’s inquiry, which concluded at the end of last month.

The complainant was told she had acted dishonestly and received a legal letter, which gave her five working days on receipt of the letter, to appeal against the outcome of the investigation. The BBC also report that she has lodged a complaint with the FIA’s ethics committee.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Jos Verstappen sympathises with Horner’s accuser

12:10 , Kieran Jackson

“I sympathise with the woman, with all that she went through, but we will see what happens,” Jos Verstappen told MailOnline, referring to Horner’s accuser who has now been suspended. Horner was cleared of wrongdoing by an external investigation.

“Red Bull seem to know what they are doing with her, we will see. But I think it is for her to come out and see what happens. I’m not fully up to speed with what is happening with her.”

F1 presenter Laura Winter sends defiant message to women in light of Horner scandal

11:30 , Kieran Jackson

F1 TV presenter Laura Winter produced a moving piece to camera in Saudi Arabia on International Women’s Day – admitting it has not been easy being a woman working in the sport in light of recent events.

The female Red Bull employee who accused team principal Christian Horner of “inappropriate behaviour” was suspended yesterday, on the eve of International Women’s Day on Friday.

The complainant still has the right to appeal the outcome of Red Bull’s internal investigation, which cleared Horner of any wrongdoing.

But after what has been a difficult month, with the role of women in Formula 1 brought back into the limelight, Winter sent a defiant message to those working in the sport and female fans, insisting: “We are here to stay and we are right where we belong.”

‘We’re here to stay’: F1 presenter sends message to women in light of Horner scandal

Red Bull respond to Horner exit claims

10:57 , Kieran Jackson

After reports in the Austrian press that Horner could be fired prior to the Australian Grand Prix (24 March), Red Bull released the following statement:

“As Christian has said, he is grateful for the full support of the shareholders and that remains the case.”

Ferrari looking to ‘poach key Red Bull engineers’ amid tension at Christian Horner’s team

10:32 , Kieran Jackson

Ferrari are reportedly eyeing three key Red Bull engineers as the Scuderia look to take advantage of the current unrest at the F1 world champions.

The saga involving Christian Horner and a female colleague accusing him of “inappropriate behaviour” – though the team principal was cleared after an internal probe – has uncovered numerous tensions within the Red Bull camp.

Another tumultuous weekend in Saudi Arabia saw star driver Max Verstappen threaten to leave if adviser Helmut Marko was forced out. Red Bull GmbH chief Oliver Mintzlaff played down those rumours, with all involved keen to move on despite the continued protestations of Max’s father, Jos.

However Ferrari, lagging far behind Red Bull alongside the rest of the grid this season, are looking to capitalise on the situation by signing up key aerodynamicists and performance engineers for 2025, when Lewis Hamilton joins the team from Mercedes.

Italian outlet Gazzetta Dello Sport says Ferrari are eyeing an approach to Red Bull’s leader of aerodynamic development Alessandro Germani, head of performance Ben Waterhouse and on-track aerodynamic officer David Morgan.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Christian Horner admits Max Verstappen could leave Red Bull

10:13 , Kieran Jackson

“It’s like anything in life, you can’t force somebody to be somewhere just because of a piece of paper,” Horner said after Saturday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

“If somebody didn’t want to be in this team, then we’re not going to force somebody against their will to be here.

“That applies whether it is a machine operator or a designer or someone in one of the support functions that runs through the business.”

 (AP)
(AP)

Christian Horner’s accuser feels ‘let down’ by Red Bull as she ‘makes appeal decision’

09:59 , Kieran Jackson

The woman who accused Christian Horner of “inappropriate behaviour” says she feels “disappointed” and “let down” by Red Bull, according to reports.

Red Bull F1 team principal Horner was cleared of any wrongdoing after a three-week internal investigation conducted by an external lawyer. A day later, WhatsApp texts of a sexual nature seemingly involving the two parties were leaked to F1 personnel and the media.

Last Thursday, the female complainant was suspended by Red Bull Racing, on full pay. A Red Bull spokesperson stated: “The company cannot comment on this internal matter”.

Full story below:

Horner’s accuser feels ‘let down’ by Red Bull as she ‘makes appeal decision’

Christian Horner – latest: FIA statement on Red Bull employee’s complaint

09:55 , Kieran Jackson

“Enquiries and complaints are received and managed by the compliance officer, and the ethics committee where appropriate.

“Both bodies operate autonomously, guaranteeing strict confidentiality throughout the process.

“As a consequence, and in general, we are unable to confirm the receipt of any specific complaint and it is unlikely that we will be able to provide further comment on the complaints that we may receive from any parties.”

‘I’d love to have him’: Toto Wolff reacts to Max Verstappen unrest at Red Bull

09:53 , Kieran Jackson

Toto Wolff has revealed for the first time that he would love to have Max Verstappen at Mercedes – as Red Bull boss Christian Horner admitted no individual is bigger than the team.

Verstappen’s Red Bull future is in the spotlight amid the in-fighting at Formula One’s dominant franchise.

The Dutchman, who won Saturday’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to land his second win of the season – and his ninth in a row – opened the door to sensationally quitting Red Bull if motorsport adviser Helmut Marko is forced out.

It emerged this weekend that Marko could be suspended as a result of Red Bull’s inquiry into Horner, although the 80-year-old Austrian said prior to Saturday’s race that he expects to carry on.

However, the unrest at Red Bull has put Mercedes – seeking a replacement for Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton in 2025 – on red alert.

‘I’d love to have him’: Toto Wolff reacts to Max Verstappen unrest at Red Bull