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via Reuters

Red Bull is still facing the repercussions of the Christian Horner Investigation initiated in February. After a female employee accused the British Team Principal of  ‘Inappropriate Behavior’, the Milton Keynes outfit launched an independent investigation. 100 pieces of evidence were presented against Horner but eventually, the investigator found him not guilty. But the very fact that Red Bull decided not to hand over the case to an external party bugged many people.

Even after the investigation concluded, big revelations such as Horner’s alleged WhatsApp chats with the accuser were leaked. At the time, the authenticity of the chats wasn’t verified. But weeks later, the accuser’s friend confirmed that those screenshots were indeed true. However, the Horner Case not only focused on the female employee’s allegations, but also exposed the ‘power struggle’ within the team. And the friction between the two part-owners of Red Bull – the Thai family and the Austrians came out in public, too.

Commenting on this sensitive matter, Sports Journalist Barbara Barend told Formule1.nl, “I don’t think anyone knows all the ins and outs. Of course, if that woman is right, it’s outrageous. But if it is not true, which is now claimed, it makes sense that Horner is still team principal. The tricky thing with this kind of thing is always the burden of proof.”

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She then emphasized the importance of Red Bull being completely transparent. “The first thing you should want as a company is for the charges to be investigated completely independently and for you to be transparent about the findings. Only then do you have the right to speak. It is, of course, strange that this matter has been investigated by Red Bull itself,she concluded.

Barbara Barend is not the first person to demand complete transparency from Red Bull on the matter. Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, and other stakeholders from the paddock have also asked for the same. Yet, barely any key updates have made it to the public. Consequently, the team’s important personnel continue to be linked with shock transfers to rival teams.

Repercussions of the Christian Horner Investigation on Red Bull

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Max Verstappen‘s father, Jos Verstappen had confirmed that there indeed was a ‘power struggle’ within the team. It then came to light that Christian Horner’s position has strengthened within Red Bull. And even the Thai owners, with a 51% stake in the team, were in his support. But such politics have seemingly left the team divided internally.

The technical team too is suffering the brunt of this. Adrian Newey, who prefers to keep politics at bay and wants to focus on creating the best F1 car, has reportedly been sidelined by Horner. Instead, Horner has strengthened the position of Newey’s right-hand man, Pierre Wache.

via Reuters

A former Red Bull driver even confirmed that Max Verstappen was secretly in “talks with Mercedes”. Surprisingly, Helmut Marko, who has been with RB for over 25 years, was aware of this. He too was reported to be looking for job opportunities with rivals.

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Red Bull fans can only hope that this isn’t the beginning of the end of F1’s most dominant team ever.