F1

Red Bull boss Christian Horner wants his future resolved ‘as soon as possible’

The Red Bull team principal is under investigation following allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” by a female colleague.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is under investigation for “inappropriate behaviour” (Lynne Sladky/AP)
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner in Bahrain Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is under investigation for “inappropriate behaviour” (Lynne Sladky/AP) (Lynne Sladky/AP)

Christian Horner wants his Red Bull future to be resolved “as soon as possible” as the embattled team principal fights to save his Formula One career.

Red Bull Racing’s parent company Red Bull GmbH announced on February 5 that Horner is being investigated following an accusation of “inappropriate behaviour” by a female colleague. Horner denies the claim.

Horner addressed the media alongside four other F1 team principals on the second day of this week’s three-day test in Bahrain on Thursday. The new season starts in the Gulf kingdom next Saturday.

Christian Horner speaks to Red Bull driver Sergio Perez in Bahrain (Darko Bandic/AP)
Sergio Perez (left) and Christian Horner Christian Horner speaks to Red Bull driver Sergio Perez in Bahrain (Darko Bandic/AP) (Darko Bandic/AP)

Asked why he has not moved aside as team principal and chief executive of Red Bull Racing with the investigation under way, Horner replied: “As you are well aware there is a process going on which I form part of, and as I form part of that process, I am afraid I cannot comment on it.”

Horner was then asked if he could provide a timeline as to when the investigation might be over.

The 50-year-old added: “I am dreadfully sorry but I really can’t comment on the process or the timescale.

“Everybody would like a conclusion as soon as possible. But I am really not at liberty to comment about the process.”

Sources have indicated to the PA news agency that there could be a resolution before the opening race on March 2.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has called for a swift resolution
McLaren CEO Zak Brown McLaren CEO Zak Brown has called for a swift resolution (Zac Goodwin/PA)

On Wednesday, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff called for Red Bull’s probe to be transparent, and said the controversy is “an issue for all of Formula One”.

McLaren chief executive Zak Brown, speaking in the same press conference as Horner on Thursday, echoed Wolff’s comments.

“The allegations are extremely serious,” said Brown. “McLaren hold themselves to the highest standards of diversity, equality and inclusion.

“These are extremely important to us and our partners, and to everyone in Formula One.

“Red Bull Corporation has launched an investigation, and all we hope and assume is that it will be handled in a very transparent way, and as the FIA and Formula One has said, swiftly, because these are not the headlines that Formula One wants or needs at this time.”

Red Bull won all but one of the 22 races last year as Max Verstappen stormed to the world championship.

The Dutch driver, in his heavily upgraded machine, set an impressive pace on the opening day in Bahrain, finishing 1.1 seconds clear of anyone else.

Mercedes’ George Russell said: “Red Bull are definitely the favourites and definitely a step ahead of everyone here in Bahrain. They have had an impressive winter, no doubt.

“Hopefully Red Bull are already in that sweet spot, and we can close the gap, but it is going to take a lot of hard work to do so.”

Carlos Sainz ended day two on top for Ferrari ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, with Lewis Hamilton third for Mercedes, 1.14 sec off the pace, albeit on slower tyres than the Spaniard.

Hamilton, who completed 123 laps, will be back behind the wheel of his Silver Arrows on Friday for the concluding running before next week’s curtain raiser.