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Christian Horner: Red Bull team principal to remain in role after investigation into alleged inappropriate behaviour

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was subject of an investigation launched by the F1 team's Austrian parent company following allegations of inappropriate behaviour; Horner will remain in charge for the opening race of the 2024 F1 season in Bahrain on Saturday

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Explained: What happens next after Christian Horner allegations dismissed

Christian Horner will continue in his role as Red Bull team principal after allegations of inappropriate behaviour made against him were dismissed.

The 50-year-old was placed under investigation by the F1 team's Austrian parent company Red Bull GmbH after allegations were made against him by a female colleague.

Horner has denied the allegations throughout the process and was present at the reigning constructors' champions 2024 car launch and pre-season testing in Bahrain last week.

Red Bull GmbH released a statement confirming the conclusion of the investigation on Wednesday, less than 24 hours before the cars take to the track for the first time at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

"The independent investigation into the allegations made against Mr Horner is complete, and Red Bull can confirm that the grievance has been dismissed," the company said in a statement.

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Lewis Hamilton described the investigation into alleged inappropriate behaviour by Red Bull team principal Christian Horner as

"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."

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Horner attended an interview on February 9 with the external specialist barrister carrying out the investigation, but no resolution on the matter was reached at that stage.

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Max Verstappen says Christian Horner's investigation doesn't affect him and he is instead focused on the performance of the car

Attending the team's car launch six days later at their Milton Keynes base, Horner addressed the media for the first time since the allegations became public, and reiterated his denial.

Horner has been in charge of Red Bull Racing since it formed in 2005 and has led the squad to seven drivers' titles and six constructors' triumphs in 19 seasons.

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Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle, Damon Hill and Naomi Schiff react to Red Bull's statement

Decision finally comes on eve of 2024 F1 season

The discussion around the investigation had been dominating the agenda ahead of Saturday's opening 2024 race in Bahrain, with Formula 1 and some of Horner's counterparts having called for a swift resolution.

At Wednesday's drivers' press conference, before Red Bull GmbH's announcement, Lewis Hamilton became the latest key figure to have his say on the matter, describing the situation as "a really important moment" for F1.

"I think it's a difficult one to answer, naturally," seven-time world champion Hamilton said.

"We always have to do more to try and make the sport and the environment that people get to work in feel safe and inclusive and any allegations have to be taken very seriously.

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Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff says the ongoing investigation into his Red Bull counterpart Christian Horner over alleged inappropriate behaviour is 'an issue for all of Formula 1'

"Obviously we don't know everything that's gone on, but it does need to be resolved as it's hanging over the sport. It will be really interesting to see how it's dealt with moving forwards and the affect that it may or may not have on the sport moving forwards.

"I think it's a really important moment for the sport to make sure that we stand true to our values."

Alongside Hamilton in the press conference was Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who insisted that the situation wasn't affecting his preparations for his title defence.

"It doesn't," Verstappen said when asked if the saga was impacting him. "I'm very focused on just the performance of the car and myself. Hopefully it will be resolved very soon."

Despite turning down the opportunity to give his backing to Horner remaining with the team, Verstappen said that the 50-year-old is "very important" to Red Bull's success.

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McLaren team principal Zak Brown gives his views on the current investigation surrounding Christian Horner and inappropriate behaviour at Red Bull

"I think he is very important otherwise he wouldn't be in that position for such a long time," Verstappen said.

"Let's say if your team boss disappears for whatever reason for one or two races, not much is going to happen because everyone is in their role and they know what they have to do in the short term.

"But it's all about people management over time. And then of course things will start to be different if one of the leaders starts to not be there anymore.

"But we are not thinking like that. Like I said before, we just trust the process that we are in as a team to see what the outcome will be and besides that, at the moment, everyone is just very focused on the performance here at the track and everyone is in a good mood and just excited to get going again."

Schiff: I believe Red Bull have done everything they can

Sky Sports F1's Naomi Schiff reacts to Horner being cleared by Red Bull's investigation:

"Red Bull is huge company. It's a corporate matter. An investigation has been handled, whether it be independent or not, you would think and assume they take this with the utmost seriousness and handle it completely fairly.

"It comes at the risk of going completely wrong if it's found out that it's not the case. So, I believe they have done everything they can.

"What they say in the statement is super important. There is a level of discretion that needs to be kept because it involves the private life of people, that doesn't need to be exposed to the world.

"So, we just hope that this is clear and it won't go any further unless it has to, but you don't want this looming over the sport and the credibility of these people."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was present at the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain
Image: Horner was present at pre-season testing in Bahrain

Brundle: Red Bull have drawn firm line underneath the matter

Sky Sports F1's Martin Brundle reacts to Horner being cleared by Red Bull's investigation:

"Red Bull, the parent company, have drawn a very thick and firm line underneath the matter as far as they're concerned with that statement.

"It does say the complainant can take further action against this but they are clear. They have done a deep investigation and talked for hours, many pages of documents have been generated, so clearly there was something to talk about.

"Christian Horner has always strenuously denied all wrongdoing on this and they are literally like, 'case closed and complete'.

"I find this a very curious business. We knew no facts whatsoever about this story, lots of echoes, lots of rumours that swirl around.

"We can only go by that statement and it looks like a line drawn underneath it and let's see if anything else comes out of that from third parties."

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