Red Bull suspends female employee who accused team principal Christian Horner of inappropriate behavior, per reports

5 months ago

(CNN) — Red Bull has suspended the female employee who accused F1 team principal Christian Horner of inappropriate behavior, according to multiple reports.

Speaking with reporters in Jeddah ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabia Grand Prix, Horner said he couldn’t talk about the reported suspension due to “confidentiality restrictions.”

When contacted by CNN, a Red Bull spokesperson said: “We are unable to comment on this internal matter.”

Red Bull launched an independent investigation in February after Horner was accused of engaging in inappropriate behavior towards a member of the racing team, who has not been identified.

Horner was cleared of wrongdoing last week and later reiterated that he denied the allegations after alleged leaked messages were distributed to members of the F1 community in a Google Drive. CNN has been unable to corroborate their authenticity and Red Bull said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on the matter.

“The reality is that there was a grievance that was raised, it was dealt with in the most professional manner by the group, not by Red Bull Racing but by the owners of Red Bull GMBH, that appointed an independent KC, that is one of the most reputable KC’s in the land,” Horner said.

“He took time to investigate fully all of the facts, he interviewed all of the people involved together with others of interest.

“He looked at everything, he had all of the facts, and he came to a conclusion where he dismissed the grievance. As far as I’m concerned, as far as Red Bull is concerned, we move on.”

‘Focus is very much on the future’

Media speculation that three-time F1 world champion Max Verstappen could leave Red Bull Racing has arisen, after his father Jos Verstappen called for Horner’s sacking following the allegations. Max Verstappen later defended his outspoken father for speaking out.

“I’m obviously aware of the comments that were made,” Horner said. “There was a comment, there was a discussion subsequent to the race and I think everybody’s focus is very much on the future.”

Horner added that he expects Verstappen will see out his contract with the team through 2028.

”I’m certain that he will (see out his contract),” Horner said.

“He’s got a great team around him. He’s got great faith in that team. And we’ve achieved an awful lot together, so he’s committed to an agreement until 2028.

“From a team side, from Max’s side, we’re determined to build on the success that we’ve achieved already and those 55 victories have all come in Red Bull cars.”

The controversy around Horner has stolen almost all the headlines as the new season rolls onto its second race weekend.

Zak Brown, McLaren Racing’s chief executive, told CNN’s Amanda Davies that it was “very unfortunate” the saga was continuing and said more “transparency” is needed in the process in order for people to be satisfied with the outcome.

Admitting it was hard to comment directly on the Horner case, given he doesn’t know the full details, Brown said McLaren would have suspended the individual while they were under investigation if something similar had happened in their team.

He also said the sport’s governing body, the FIA, needs to be sure the matter is handled appropriately in order to not damage the reputation of the sport.

“I do think this is an isolated incident involving one team, a couple individuals, and so I think we need to see it as that, as opposed to a wider issue with Formula 1,” Brown said.…Read more by


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