Horner investigation rocks Red Bull: Team future uncertain amid Verstappen leak reports

The Verstappen clan has supposedly leaked to Dutch and German press that Christian Horner is being investigated by Red Bull for “cross border” behaviour after Jos Verstappen has appeared to fall out with the British team principal.

The news that Horner was being investigated by an outside attorney hired by the Austrian Red Bull GmbH company, which is above the racing team, after the 50-year-old received accusations against him from a former employee, shocked the Formula 1 grid on February 5.

Later, the Associated Press said that it had to do with his management style. Later, however, it was revealed that he had acted in a “coercive and controlling manner” toward a female employee. At one point, BILD even suggested that it had to do with the pictures he had sent to the anonymous woman.

However, Motorsport-Total.com now claims that the Verstappens may be responsible for the connections, stating that it is “no coincidence” that the story was picked up by De Telegraaf after it was published in the Netherlands. It goes on to say that Jos and Horner’s relationship is severely strained.

Furthermore, despite their eight-year relationship, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen would not support his team principal in the event of a standoff in Mexico between Horner, Jos Verstappen, and Helmut Marko due to the ongoing power vacuum left by Dietrich Mateschitz’s passing.

Horner survives Friday’s enquiry

If Horner were forced to resign or chose to do so voluntarily, Red Bull Racing’s current sporting director Jonathan Wheatley is thought to be Horner’s obvious successor. However, Wheatley currently denies any plans to take over as sporting director.

Red Bull has previously stated that he will stay on as full-time employee until their investigation is finished. He is anticipated to show up at the RB20 2024 car launch on Thursday, February 15, particularly after handling an inquiry on Friday, February 10.

A lawyer questioned Horner for hours on end about allegations involving the female employee, and the hearing concluded without a conclusion. The hearing ended at 19:00 GMT after eight hours, according to Craig Slater of Sky Sports. A protracted process is anticipated to start, with no immediate conclusion in sight.

Slater stated on Sky Sports News, “My understanding is this will operate to the timescale which the investigator sets, not to a Formula 1 timeframe.” “It implies that there’s a good chance this process will continue even after Red Bull launches their car on Thursday, February 15.

“It might even still be going on as we head into Bahrain for F1 preseason testing on the 20th of this month. It might continue until the season’s opening Grand Prix on March 2.

“Although it’s uncomfortable for the team, the parties involved must be treated fairly, which is why they hired this independent investigator in the first place.”

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