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F1 Rumor: Christian Horner’s Investigation Is “A Matter of Abuse of Power,” Claims Insider

Published 02/15/2024, 11:41 AM EST

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via Reuters

For over a week now, the term “inappropriate behavior” has been haunting Christian Horner, threatening a possible end to his Formula 1 career. After being accused of controlling and coercive behavior by a female employee, Red Bull Racing’s parent company, Red Bull GmbH, has been investigating the team principal. While the company initially stated, the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible,” it might take weeks to reach a conclusive decision. However, things may have started to take a turn.

Since the investigation began, many known names in F1 have voiced that Christian Horner is innocent until proven guilty. While the final decision lies in the hands of Red Bull GmbH, F1 insider and Russian commentator Alexey Popov has provided a fresh update on the proceedings.

The truth about Christian Horner’s investigation may have started to surface

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So far, the accusations of inappropriate behavior have been vague. The only details the public has been made privy to are the stakeholders. While this has many implications, Alexey Popov revealed what the investigation possibly isn’t about. As quoted by NextGen-Auto, Popov said, “Apparently, there is no talk of harassment or indecent photographs.” [Translated by Google] This came after the German publication BILD reported that the Austrian company is investigating him for sending inappropriate pictures to the employee in question.

Formula One F1 – Las Vegas Grand Prix – Las Vegas Strip Circuit, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S – November 17, 2023 Red Bull team principal Christian Horner ahead of practice REUTERS/Mike Blake

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Popov clarified, “It’s a matter of abuse of power. For European tastes, Horner did not communicate very politely with his employees, and they filed a denunciation to the Red Bull head office in Austria.” However, this revelation by Popov in no way acquits Horner of anything recognized as “inappropriate behavior” by law. That final decision will be made only by Red Bull GmbH.

With how things are going, the investigation can end in one of two decisions. Either Christian Horner will lose his position in Red Bull, or the employee may lose their position in the team and their career in F1 for defamation. Either way, Red Bull will have significant action to take, and the sooner it’s done, the better. With pre-season testing in less than a week and the five lights in Bahrain going out in just over two, Red Bull Racing would hope for a quick resolution.

In the meantime, as Christian Horner continues his duties as the team principal, he was present at Silverstone for Red Bull’s 2024 challenger’s shakedown. Amid speculations that he may not be present at the car launch, the Brit plans to unveil the RB20, marking the start of not just Red Bull’s 20th season in F1 but also his. However, as focused as he may want to be on the season, the investigation is just as crucial. At a time like this, a friend gave Horner his two cents.

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Bernie Ecclestone’s advice to Horner

Christian Horner has been a long-time friend of Bernie Ecclestone, the former chief executive of the Formula One Group. Ecclestone has been counseling Horner, helping him get through this tough time. Reports also state that F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has been in touch with Red Bull GmbH throughout the investigation.

In a statement he shared with French news agency AFP, Ecclestone explained that he’s been a friend of Horner for many years and believes he is innocent until proven guilty. He stated, “Apart from keeping his head down, my advice to Christian is to do nothing and wait and see what happens. I am in close contact with him. The problem is that when you succeed, you make a lot of enemies. What I hope is that someone will talk to him and the woman individually and everything will be worked out.”

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That being said, what do you think of the ongoing Christian Horner investigation?

F1 News: Crucial Developments on Christian Horner’s Hearing Released Following ‘Inappropriate Behavior’ Allegations

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Written by:

Viren Mirpuri

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Viren Mirpuri is an F1 Writer at EssentiallySports. With a Degree in Mass Media and a Specialization in Journalism, Viren is known for his speedy race day coverage outside of discussing the engine technicalities. Whether he's dissecting the latest technical innovations or unraveling the drama on and off the track, he ensures that his readers stay engaged and informed.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare