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Christian Horner addresses ‘leaked texts’ and family situation – everything the Red Bull chief said

A huge scrum of photographers follow the couple
A huge scrum of photographers followed the couple - Peter Fox/Getty Images

Christian Horner admitted he and his family have been through a “testing time” after allegations by a female colleague, as he and wife Geri put on a united front in Bahrain on Saturday.

The beleaguered Red Bull chief kissed and embraced Geri in front of a scrum of photographers at the season-opening Grand Prix.

“It’s been very testing for my family but we are very strong as a family and our focus is on this race,” Horner said.

He added: “We are here to go racing and that is my job. So this is what we are focused on and this is what we are here to do.”

Wearing a cream dress and nude heels, the former Spice Girl held hands with Horner, 50, as they entered the paddock together roughly two hours before the first race of the

The Horners arrive hand-in-hand
The Horners arrived hand-in-hand - Ali Haider/Shutterstock
Christian and Geri do not shy away from the cameras
Christian and Geri did not shy away from the cameras - David Davies/PA

Horner, the Red Bull team principal, had been facing an internal investigation into his behaviour, after a female colleague accused him of controlling behaviour.

Last Wednesday Red Bull’s parent company Red Bull GmbH confirmed it had cleared Horner of any wrongdoing.

Yet less than 24 hours later, a cache of screengrabs from WhatsApp exchanges – purportedly between Horner and his accuser – was sent from an anonymous email address, febtwentyninth@gmail.com.

Horner said: “I am not going to comment on what motives whatever person may have for doing this. My focus is on this team, my family, my wife and going racing. I have the support of an incredible family, an incredible wife and an incredible team and everybody within that team. And my focus is going racing, winning racing and doing the best I can.”

Recipients of the material included Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) president Mohammed ben Sulayem, F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali and several journalists who had covered the case.

The 79 screenshots sparked speculation over whether Geri Horner, 51 would join her husband for the opening race of the season after all.

But on Saturday as she arrived at the main entrance to the paddock, wearing her wedding and engagement rings. Photographers and reporters followed her and Horner as they made their way to the Red Bull motorhome.

The couple lingered on the veranda outside the Red Bull motorhome for a few minutes to talk to the owner of Heineken, Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, and her husband Michel.

Flavio Briatore, the former Renault team boss, later went into Red Bull to talk to them.

Flavio Briatore (right) walks the Bahrain GP paddock
Flavio Briatore (right) walks the Bahrain GP paddock - Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Red Bull’s Thai co-owner Chalerm Yoovidhya, who is rumoured to have supported Horner throughout the investigation, joined the Horners at the Red Bull motorhome shortly after their arrival, where he embraced the racing chief with a hug before sharing lunch with Geri along with his wife.

Footballer Neymar, a guest of Red Bull’s, was another visitor and posed for photographs with both Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

Neymar was a special guest of Red Bull's
Neymar was a special guest of Red Bull's - Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images

The former Spice Girl flew out to the Kingdom on Thursday, aboard property billionaire Tony Gallagher’s private jet, but had not been seen in public since.

Geri has a daughter Bluebell, 17 and a son, Monty, with her husband, who also has an eight-year-old daughter, Olivia.

The couple first met at the Monaco Grand Prix in 2009 and married six years later.

Despite the case against Horner having been dismissed by an independent barrister appointed by Red Bull’s parent company earlier this week, he remains under intense wider scrutiny.

There have been calls from rival team principals, including Mercedes’ Toto Wolff and McLaren’s Zak Brown, for Red Bull Austria to show more transparency over the ruling, for the FIA or Formula One Management to take action to satisfy themselves that the investigation was as thorough as

Red Bull GmBH says it was, and speculation as to what Red Bull’s partners such as Ford and Oracle are thinking.

Sources at the team suggest they are satisfied with the outcome of the report, but none has yet said so publicly.


Everything Christian Horner said

While Christian Horner spoke of a “testing time” before the Bahrain Grand Prix, after the race he faced his first extensive questioning by the media since the leaking of messages. Here is what he said.

Q: How have the past few days been...coping with what has gone on?

A: Obviously, it has not been pleasant with some of the unwanted attention but the focus is now very much on the cars and my focus has been on what is happening on track and the result today demonstrates where the whole team’s focus is and we move onwards.

Q: Geri was here and Red Bull’s Thai shareholder was with you on the grid. Was it a day to show you had full support around you?

A: I have had tremendous support from within the team and within the company. It was a day about going racing, about the start of the season and starting it in the best possible way. The drivers did brilliantly. It was the best possible start for the team and partners and for our shareholders and everybody within the group.

Q: Do you believe that is a line under it?

A: My focus is on racing. What people choose to write is up to them but my focus coming out of this weekend is very much on the next race in seven days’ time in Saudi Arabia.

Q: You have so far declined to comment on what you have described as anonymous messages. Why can’t you comment on them?

A: I am not going to comment on anonymous speculative messages from an unknown source. They are from an unknown source which I am not going to comment on. Next question.

Q: Does it bother you that someone does not want it to stop?

A: I am not going to comment on what motives whatever person may have for doing this. My focus is on this team, my family, my wife and going racing. I have the support of an incredible family, an incredible wife and an incredible team and everybody within that team. And my focus is on going racing, winning races, and doing the best I can.

Q: Are you confident you will be here for the entire season?

A: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Q: And it does not matter what is thrown at you? You will stand firm?

A: One hundred per cent. There was a full lengthy internal process that was completed by an independent KC and the grievance that was raised was dismissed. End of. Move on.

Q: Did you have doubt you would be here?

A: I have always been entirely confident that I would be here and my focus is on the season ahead and the races we have ahead.

Q: Has this week been detrimental to the sport?

A: I cannot comment on what people are choosing to write. My focus is on the team, my family and the people around me. I have their full support, full backing and for me it is about looking ahead and moving forward. You could see what this result meant to the whole team. Better to do your talking on the track.

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