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F1 Rumor: Christian Horner’s Last Day With Red Bull Set; Investigation in Its Final Stages

Published 02/22/2024, 3:51 AM EST

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With every week come new claims about Christian Horner’s investigation. Last week, rumors arose that Horner’s “inappropriate behavior” was “a matter of abuse of power” and that it had nothing to do with indecent photographs. This week, it’s about his last day in the Red Bull camp. However, amid all the rumors, we’re also getting closer to the end of the investigation with every passing week. At least, Horner, RBR, and F1 would hope so. His presence at the car launch and in Bahrain for pre-season testing may indicate his innocence. But there could be more to it than meets the eye.

In Bahrain, Red Bull seems to have picked up right where it left off in 2023. Despite Max Verstappen admitting, “If the balance of the car is what I feel right now, we’re in a good spot,” all eyes and ears are on Horner. While there’s no news of an official Judgment Day for the Red Bull team principal, F1 has urged the parent company to wrap up the investigation before the Bahrain GP next weekend. Per recent speculations, that’s precisely what may happen.

As reported by Formula Passion, Mervi Kallio, a Finnish journalist, stated, “Only the final details are missing for the ratification of Horner’s removal from his current role.” Horner, who’s been at the helm of Red Bull Racing since its first season in 2005, officially started his 20th season with the team in Bahrain yesterday. However, per Kallio, the 50-year-old may not get to the first race weekend.

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The report added, “The official announcement could arrive next week, perhaps on Wednesday.” [Translated by Google] But it’s important to note that these are just rumors. Since Day 1, Christian Horner has denied the allegations of inappropriate behavior. And since then, the team has shown him support. When asked about the investigation in Bahrain, he said, I cannot comment on the trial and its timing. We all want it to be resolved as soon as possible for the good of the team, but I can’t comment.”

Although he’s admitted the investigation has “been a distraction,” Red Bull Racing hasn’t lost sight of the bigger picture. As much as coming to a consensus on the investigation would mean to the team, their main focus is on the 2024 season. However, as Horner continues to plead his innocence and figures like Bernie Ecclestone come out in support of him, there will always be speculation until a final decision has been made. And another one of those speculations had to do with Horner’s appearance during pre-season testing.

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Christian Horner’s attire results in more speculation

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Christian Horner attended Red Bull’s RB20 car launch and has also been seen around the Bahrain International Circuit for pre-season testing. But one thing caught people’s attention in the F1 community: Horner’s outfit during the sightings. Both times, the team principal was seen without Red Bull attire and branding on his clothing.

via Reuters

Upon seeing this, many fans on social media thought this was a sign of Christian Horner preparing for his exit. However, it’s important to note that the team principal has made it a habit of attending pre-season testing in casual wear. He did it last season as well. While this is not enough proof that Horner is out of the team, the fact that he is there for the team during events cannot be an indication of him staying at Red Bull.

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That being said, do you think Christian Horner will remain team principal, or will he have to leave Red Bull and Formula 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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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