Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is expected to face a hearing into allegations over his conduct on Friday.
The allegations, which Horner denies, are understood to have been made by a female member of the team’s staff. Red Bull’s F1 team has not commented on them directly; a statement was issued yesterday through the Austrian arm of the energy drinks manufacturer.
The development casts doubt on Horner’s future in charge of the team which he has led since its F1 debut in 2005. He shaped it into a formidable force which dominated the world championship between 2010 and 2013, before Mercedes’ mastery of the V6 hybrid turbo engine formula led them to win eight consecutive constructors’ championship titles. Red Bull rebounded, however: Horner’s team took the title in the last two seasons and is favourite to do so again this year.
The team is due to hold a launch event ahead of the new season at their Milton Keynes base next week, six days after Friday’s hearing. It remains to be seen whether Horner will still be in charge by then.
Red Bull’s parent company said yesterday it takes the allegations “extremely seriously”. Williams team principal James Vowles said teams have to take action when faced with such cases.
“These allegations are allegations, I’m afraid I don’t have any understanding of what is behind them and the significance of what has happened,” he told Bloomberg. “All I can say is that should this ever happen in our regard we’ll be entirely supportive in terms of fixing it and making sure we have a culture that’s accepting of everyone.”
“It means we all have to look at each other in the mirror and make sure we are posing the right questions internally and acting in the way we can only be proud of, not today but in the next 10 years,” he added.
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