Christian Horner breaks silence after 'texts leaked', as Red Bull F1 boss cleared of inappropriate behaviour claims

29 February 2024, 18:26

Christian Horner
Christian Horner. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Christian Horner has spoken out for the first time after texts purportedly sent by him were leaked, after the Red Bull F1 boss was cleared of inappropriate behaviour.

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The "grievance" against Mr Horner was dismissed on Wednesday, Red Bull said in a statement.

A series of messages supposedly sent by the Red Bull boss was leaked to the media on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Horner said afterwards that he would not comment on "anonymous speculation", although he did not deny that the texts were authentic,

He added: "To reiterate I have always denied the allegations. I respected the integrity of the independent investigation and fully cooperated with it every step of the way.

Read more: Geri Halliwell 'relieved and elated' after F1 boss husband Christian Horner is cleared after Red Bull investigation

Read more: Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner cleared of inappropriate behaviour as 'grievance dismissed' after investigation

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. Picture: Alamy

"It was a thorough and fair investigation conducted by an independent specialist barrister, and it has concluded dismissing the complaint made.

"I remain fully focused on the start of the season."

Read more: Geri Halliwell's husband Christian Horner wants investigation finished 'as soon as possible' as new F1 season looms

Read more: Geri Halliwell's husband Christian Horner 'accused of sending sexually suggestive messages to female employee'

Christian Horner, who is married to Geri Halliwell, has said he wants the investigation into his alleged behaviour to be concluded as soon as possible
Christian Horner, who is married to Geri Halliwell, has said he wants the investigation into his alleged behaviour to be concluded as soon as possible. Picture: Getty

Red Bull Racing's parent company Red Bull GmbH announced that Horner was under investigation on February 5.

It followed an accusation of "inappropriate behaviour" by a female colleague. Horner denied the claim.

He will now stay on the team as principal of the British team, with the company saying it was confident it had carried out a "fair, rigorous and impartial" investigation.

A statement 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."

Horner arrived in Bahrain on Wednesday ahead of this weekend's opening race of the F1 season.

Speaking earlier in the month, he said: "It's business as usual. Obviously, I fully deny any accusations that have been made against me but of course I'll work with that process, which I hope is concluded in the near future.

"I can't comment on what that process consists (of). I'm confident obviously in the process and working with the process and deny absolutely any allegations being made. I just continue to work within that process until it's concluded."

Lewis Hamilton was the latest of the F1 drivers to speak out over the controversy.

Before the verdict on Horner's future was announced, he said it was an "important moment for the sport to make sure that we stand true to our values".

"We always have to do more to try to make the sport and the environment for people to work in feel safe and inclusive," he said.

"Any allegations have to be taken very seriously.

"We don't know everything that has gone on but it needs to be resolved because it is hanging over the sport.

"It will be interesting to see how it is dealt with, and the effect that it may or may not have on the sport moving forward.

"It is a really important moment for the sport to make sure that we stand true to our values."

Christian Horner denies the allegations against him
Christian Horner denies the allegations against him. Picture: Getty

Horner has been Red Bull team principal since they entered F1 19 years ago and is the longest-serving boss on the grid.

During that period, he has overseen seven drivers' world championships and six constructors' titles.

Red Bull have dominated the sport in recent seasons and last year won 21 of the 22 races, with Max Verstappen setting a new record for 10 consecutive victories.

Addressing the investigation, Verstappen said: "He (Horner) is very important otherwise he wouldn't have been in that position for such a long time.

"If your team boss disappears for one of two races, for whatever reason, not much is going to happen because everybody is in their role.

"Then things will start to be different if one of the leaders is not there anymore, but we are not thinking like that.

"We trust the process and we have to see what the outcome will be. Besides that, everyone is focused on what happens on track and we are in a good mood to get going again."

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