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F1 Rumor: 100 Pieces of Evidence Against Christian Horner Presented; ‘Frustrated’ Ford Issues Firm Statement

Published 02/26/2024, 6:07 AM EST

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via Reuters

We are finally edging toward the first race weekend of the year. With many looking forward to the lights going out in Bahrain, one future Formula 1 stakeholder is holding their breath for the resolution of an ongoing investigation. We are talking about Red Bull’s future partner–Ford. Given how Red Bull GmbH hasn’t disclosed any of its findings about Christian Horner’s investigation, Ford made its stance on the non-transparency very clear.

“As we have indicated previously, without satisfactory response, Ford’s values are non-negotiable,” Ford CEO Jim Farley wrote in the letter dated February 23, a copy of which was obtained by Associated Press. “It is imperative that our racing partners share and demonstrate a genuine commitment to those same values.” The Milton-Keynes outfit partnered with Ford after their talks with Porsche fell through at the last minute. The American automakers will contribute by sharing their expertise in the engines department, helping Red Bull Powertrains, the engine department from 2026.

Ford sent this letter following another request for more information on the case sent over a week ago. With no response, Farley reiterated, “My team and I are available at any time to discuss this matter.” Considering it’s been almost a month since the investigation started, the American manufacturers echoed Christian Horner’s hope for a quick resolution. We remain insistent on, and hopeful for, a resolution we can all stand behind,” the letter read.

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Jim Farley expressed, “We are likewise frustrated by the lack of full transparency surrounding this matter with us, your corporate partners, and look forward to receiving a complete account of all findings.” He further demanded “prompt and serious attention” to the matter, as the accusations have reportedly moved from “aggressive management style” to “sexual misconduct.” This came in light of another rumor regarding the investigation.

Per Associated Press, “There were reportedly nearly 100 pieces of evidence introduced during a deposition of Horner, who allegedly offered his accuser a six-figure settlement.” A journalist from the Dutch publication De Telegraaf tweeted that, on February 3, Horner’s lawyers allegedly offered a $816,510 settlement to the female employee. It is important to note that these are just speculations, and the Austrian parent company hasn’t confirmed any of this.

Just like Ford, the entire world of Formula 1 is waiting for a resolution to this investigation, especially before the season opener. This isn’t the opinion of the Ford CEO alone. McLaren’s CEO also discussed the ongoing investigation before the season opener.

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Zak Brown speaks up about the impact of the Christian Horner investigation on F1

Formula 1 has become an extremely popular sport, and where there’s popularity, there’s scrutiny. Currently, Horner’s investigation is not something the sport or any entity of the sport wants to be associated with. The serious accusations bring a lot of bad press to the sport and can have severe implications. This is exactly what McLaren CEO Zak Brown pointed out while addressing the issue.

He said, “The allegations are extremely serious. And all we hope and assume is that will be handled in a very transparent way. As FIA and Formula 1 have said, it needs to be handled swiftly because I don’t believe these are the type of headlines that Formula 1 wants or needs at this time.” Brown then drove home the importance of being transparent throughout the process, just as Jim Farley explained.

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“I just think it’s important that it’s handled in a transparent way in which there’s no doubt, no doubt whatsoever, that it’s been handled appropriately. And whatever the conclusion is, that conclusion is handled in an appropriate transparent manner.” The longer this investigation goes on, the more serious its implications become, not just for Christian Horner and Red Bull but for F1 as a sport.

F1 Rumor: Christian Horner’s Replacement Ready if Red Bull Investigation Proves Him Guilty

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Written by:

Mahim Suhalka

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Mahim is a senior Formula 1 writer at EssentiallySports. With a Diploma in Sports Management, he ventured into sports journalism for his sheer passion for F1. Mahim has written over 2000 articles during his tenure at ES, and his expertise is in perspective pieces and core sports coverage.
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Edited by:

Akash Pandhare