The key questions after Christian Horner is cleared of ‘inappropriate behaviour’

By Sports Desk February 28, 2024

Christian Horner will continue as team principal of the Red Bull Formula One team after he was cleared of “inappropriate behaviour”.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the key questions surrounding the controversy which has rocked Horner, Red Bull, and the sport.

What were the accusations against Horner?

On February 5, Red Bull Racing’s parent company GmbH confirmed Horner was under investigation following an accusation of “inappropriate behaviour”. The company said it “takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible”.

Horner denied the claim – made by a female colleague – and remained as team principal and CEO of the Milton Keynes-based team. It is understood the complainant also continued in her role.

How did Red Bull react?

Horner was questioned by a lawyer for eight hours at a secret London location. There was no immediate resolution and Horner subsequently appeared at Red Bull’s car launch on February 15.

He continued to dismiss the allegations. Horner then headed to Bahrain for last week’s three-day test before returning to England, while Red Bull’s Austrian board met to discuss his future.

What was the verdict?

On the eve of this weekend’s curtain raiser – and 23 days after it emerged Horner was under investigation – Red Bull GmBH said the grievance against the 50-year old had been dismissed.

The corporation said it was confident the investigation had been “fair, rigorous and impartial” but added that the report, understood to stretch to 150 pages, is “confidential”.

Is this the end of it?

That remains to be seen. Red Bull said the complainant has “a right of appeal”. It is unclear at this stage whether she will pursue any further action. Horner is due to be on the Red Bull pit-wall for practice on Thursday.

What does it mean for Max Verstappen?

Despite the controversy, the Dutch driver will head into Saturday’s curtain raiser as the favourite to win his fourth world championship.

Speaking before it had been confirmed Horner would remain as team principal, Verstappen said: “He (Horner) is very important otherwise he wouldn’t have been in that position for such a long time.”

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