Red Bull have decided against suspending Christian Horner while he is being investigated over allegations of ‘inappropriate behaviour’, according to reports. Horner, who has led Red Bull since they joined the sport in 2005, vehemently denies the allegations made against him.
It is said that the allegations relate to claims of wrongdoing made by a team employee, who is said to have complained to the team’s parent company at Red Bull Austria. The investigation, which is being carried out by an ‘external specialist barrister’, was confirmed by Red Bull on Monday.
Horner will remain as team principal and stay in his dual position as chief executive of Red Bull while the investigation is carried out, according to Sky Sports. The investigation is also not expected to interfere with the planned launch of Red Bull’s new car, the RB20, on February 15.
Red Bull issued a statement in response to the allegations on Monday, which read: “After being made aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation. This process, which is already under way, is being carried out by an external specialist barrister.
“The company takes these matters extremely seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as practically possible. It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”
Horner, meanwhile, was asked about the allegations by De Telegraaf and said: “I completely deny these claims.”
Horner has led Red Bull to seven Drivers’ Championship titles and six Constructors’ Championship triumphs during his 19 years in charge of the team. They completed a clean sweep last year in one of the most dominant F1 seasons in the history of the sport, with Max Verstappen cruising to the individual honours ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez.
The Red Bull boss spent much of the off-season with his wife, former Spice Girls singer Geri Halliwell, whom he married in 2015. The pair attended several horse racing events and submitted plans to build a swimming pool at their Grade II-listed mansion in the countryside.
The news of Red Bull’s investigation into the allegations directed at Horner broke just days after he confirmed plans for a new, state-of-the-art wind tunnel at Red Bull’s development facility in Milton Keynes. Addressing the plans, he said: “The commitment to the campus in the UK is extraordinary.
“To have a state-of-the-art wind tunnel, something that we debated over the last 19 years, and see where we are at with [Red Bull] Powertrains, to have within a three-year period recruited close to 500 people and built a state-of-the-art facility with our own manufacturing ability, it’s a massive commitment by the shareholders, and it demonstrates their commitment to the longevity, but it also demonstrates that Formula One is delivering.”