Teams Demand Clarity from F1 and FIA on Horner Investigation

Teams in Formula 1, along with the FIA, have emphasized the need for clarity on lingering uncertainties surrounding Red Bull’s inquiry into Christian Horner’s conduct.

Christian Horner, the team principal of Red Bull Racing, underwent a comprehensive investigation by the energy drinks company following allegations raised by a female employee.

Following an extensive eight-week process, which involved the engagement of an independent barrister, the allegations against Horner were dismissed, and he was exonerated from any misconduct.

However, the lack of transparency from Red Bull regarding the details of the investigation and their decision to maintain confidentiality has sparked concerns that important matters may have been overlooked.

During discussions at the season opener of the F1 championship in Bahrain, Toto Wolff, the head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, and Zak Brown, the CEO of McLaren Racing, urged Formula 1’s commercial rights holder and the FIA to intervene and ensure that due diligence was observed throughout the process.

In response to queries about Red Bull’s investigation findings, Wolff stated: “Well, I just read the statement, which was pretty basic.

“My personal opinion is we can’t really look behind the curtain. At the end of the day there is a lady in an organization who has spoken to HR and said there is an issue and it was investigated. And yesterday, the sport received the message: ‘It’s all fine. We’ve looked at it.’

“I believe that with the aspiration as a global sport on such critical topics, it needs more transparency. And I wonder what the sport’s position is?

“We are competitors. We are a team, and we can have our own personal opinions or not. But it’s more like a general reaction or action that we as a sport need to assess what is right in that situation and what is wrong?”

Brown further stated: “I’ve read this statement. I think, from what I’ve seen, there continue to be a lot of rumors, speculation, and questions.

“I think the sanctioning body has a responsibility and authority to our sport, to our fans, and I think to all of us in Formula 1… I think they need to make sure that things have been fully transparent with them.

“I think until then, there will continue to be speculation because there are a lot of unanswered questions about the whole process. I think what’s needed by those who run the sport is to really be able to draw a line under it.

“Until then, I think there will continue to be some level of speculation by people, and I don’t think that’s healthy for the sport.”

Wolff expressed concern that merely accepting Red Bull’s statement without conducting additional due diligence regarding the specifics of the issue would not be appropriate for Formula 1.

He stated; “I just simply think that, as a sport, we cannot afford to leave things in the vague and in the opaque on critical topics like this, because this is going to catch us out.”