Carry on, boss: Internal Red Bull investigation clears Horner of misconduct


Red Bull has confirmed Christian Horner will remain in charge of its world champion Formula 1 team after an investigation cleared him of alleged misconduct toward a team employee.

Horner will stay on as chief executive and team principal after the announcement, which came three days before the first race of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr. Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed,” Red Bull said in a statement. 

Christian Horner ahead of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on November 26, 2023. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“The complainant has a right of appeal. Red Bull is confident that the investigation has been fair, rigorous and impartial.

“The investigation report is confidential and contains the private information of the parties and third parties who assisted in the investigation, and therefore we will not be commenting further out of respect for all concerned. 

“Red Bull will continue striving to meet the highest workplace standards.”

Red Bull won all but one race last season and its driver Max Verstappen is the three-time defending champion.

Horner had remained in his post during the investigation as part of what he called a “business as normal” approach, and was in charge of the team for preseason tests last week, even as he admitted the investigation was a distraction.

Speaking before the announcement, Mercedes driver and seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton said the investigation into Horner was a test of the sport’s values.

“Any allegations have to be taken very seriously. Obviously we don’t know everything that’s gone on, but it does need to be resolved as it’s hanging over the sport,” Hamilton said. 

“I think it’s a really important moment for the sport to make sure that we stand true to our values.”

Lewis Hamilton. (Photo by Michael Potts/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

The 50-year-old Horner has been Red Bull team principal since it entered F1 as a full constructor in 2005. He has guided the team to six constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ championships during his time there.

Red Bull won four drivers’ titles in a row with Sebastian Vettel from 2010 through 2013, and three titles with Verstappen since 2021.

Horner is married since 2015 to Geri Halliwell, better known as Ginger Spice of the pop group The Spice Girls.

Horner’s profile outside F1 was raised by his prominent role in the Netflix docuseries “Drive to Survive” and by his combative relationship with Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff amid a bitter title fight between Verstappen and Hamilton in 2021.

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