F1

Christian Horner’s accuser suspended by Red Bull in wake of investigation

Red Bull team principal Horner was accused of ‘inappropriate behaviour’.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner pictured at last week’s Bahrain Grand Prix
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner pictured at last week’s Bahrain Grand Prix (David Davies/PA)

Christian Horner’s accuser has been suspended following Red Bull’s investigation into “inappropriate behaviour” against the Formula One team principal, the PA news agency understands.

Horner, 50, was allowed to remain in his role after Red Bull Racing’s parent company GmbH said last Wednesday that the grievance against him had been dismissed.

PA understands the complainant, an employee of the Milton Keynes team, has now been suspended on full pay.

Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner was accused of ‘inappropriate behaviour’
Bahrain Grand Prix – Race – Bahrain International Circuit Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner was accused of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ (David Davies/PA)

A Red Bull Racing spokesperson said: “We are unable to comment as it is an internal matter.”

Horner, who has always denied the claims made against him, was asked about the development in a press conference in Saudi Arabia on Thursday. He said: “I am afraid I can’t comment on anything that is confidential between an employee and the company.

“There is a grievance process that takes place in any company and that process is confidential between the individuals and the company itself.

“Due to those confidentiality (reasons) and out of respect to the company, and the other party, we are all bound by those same restrictions. So even if I would like to talk about it, I can’t because of those restrictions.”

Horner added: “I am fortunate I have a beautiful family and a very supportive wife. It has been very trying, and very challenging.

Christian and Geri Horner
Christian and Geri Horner Christian and Geri Horner (David Davies/PA)

“My wife has been hugely supportive, as has my family, but the intrusion on my family is now enough, and we need to move forward and focus on what we are here for.

“It is time now to focus on why we are here which is to go Formula One racing.”

Following last weekend’s season-opening race in Bahrain, Horner said he was “absolutely confident” he would stay on as Red Bull boss for the remainder of the season.

It is understood the female member of staff, who is believed to have reported for work on Monday, has been suspended as a direct result of Red Bull’s inquiry.

Horner has always denied the claims
Bahrain Grand Prix – Qualifying Day – Bahrain International Circuit Horner has always denied the claims (David Davies/PA)

The complainant is believed to have received a legal letter at the beginning of this week, and now has five working days to appeal the outcome of the investigation which has cast an enormous shadow over Red Bull and the sport.

A statement from Red Bull GmbH last Wednesday read: “The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed.

“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.”