A bruised but unflappable Christian Horner insisted on Thursday that he has the full support of the Spice Girl’s ex-wife Geri following accusations of “controlling behaviour” made by a colleague.
He also stated that he will remain Red Bull team principal when the Formula One season begins in Bahrain on March 2.
Among the most successful figures in the history of the sport, the 50-year-old Englishman conducted a series of media interviews at the team’s car launch in Milton Keynes, amid the biggest crisis of his career. He categorically denies the claims.
Speaking for the first time since the story broke last week, he talked about “business as usual.” Of course, it is not like that. This controversy is overshadowing preparations for Red Bull’s upcoming title defense. However, Horner, regardless of what was happening, showed bravery in following through on his planned media commitments (although what would it have looked like if he had shirked his duties?).
To tell the truth, Horner was a little pale and not his usual jocular self. He normally would have made some jokes on release days like these. He might have commented on someone’s shoes or given them a playful poke in the ribs. However, although he wasn’t joking in the slightest during their lunchtime engagements, he refused to be dismissed.
Christian Horner insisted Thursday that he retains the full support of his wife, Geri Halliwell (left).
Halliwell and Horner have been married since 2015 and have a son together, born in 2017.
Horner (right) pictured at the launch of Red Bull’s new car in Milton Keynes on Thursday in his first public appearance since the allegations emerged.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner faced a day-long grilling on Friday over allegations of “inappropriate conduct.”
Ahead of testing in Bahrain next week, ahead of the first race in the Gulf kingdom, he said: “I have a very supportive family and a very supportive wife.
“My focus has been on work and next season.”
When asked if he would be in Bahrain, he said: “Yes.”
There is no deadline for completing the investigation into his alleged behavior, a process that is being carried out by an outside lawyer, an English KC, whose name has not been disclosed. Horner argued his defense for eight hours last Friday.
To Red Bull’s credit, they held their launch in person. Ferrari, on the other hand, put theirs on Zoom. They also failed to capitalize on the exciting news that they had signed Lewis Hamilton for 2025.
The questions were censored and diverted. The signing of the seven-time world champion was cause for shouting from the rooftops. And Mercedes, even worse, carried out an anemic virtual launch that lasted nine minutes.
Although Horner has appeared, the back-and-forth of evidence between accuser and accused means he is advised not to talk about the complexities of it all for now.
However, he said: “There has been a daily grind to get on with.” I feel the support within the company and from our partners, and within the industry. It’s overwhelming.
An image of the Red Bull Racing boss laughing with his team at Silverstone emerged online on Tuesday.
The 50-year-old Englishman conducted a series of media interviews at the Red Bull car launch in Milton Keynes.
Horner, pictured with Red Bull Formula One champion Max Verstappen, strongly denies the claims.
Horner (left) is among the most successful figures in Formula One history.
‘There is a process that is ongoing right now. Some allegations have been made, which I strongly deny and I have fully complied with that process and will continue to do so until it is resolved.
‘Moments of uncertainty unite us and I have never seen a more united and supportive team than this one.
“Everyone is focused on one thing, which is the performance of that car to go out and defend the two world titles that we have worked so hard for over the last few years.”
“So everyone is investing in the car and I look forward to seeing it in action in Bahrain next week.”
“I’m absolutely committed to this team. I’ve been here from the beginning. I’ve built this team. There have been ups and downs along the way.
‘We have won 113 races. He won seven world drivers’ championships. We have won six constructors’ world championships. All in 19 seasons and that’s in the history books.
But the important thing is what awaits us. So my focus is on the future. It is about Red Bull powertrains becoming a start-up engine business. We have a high-tech business system that produces the first Red Bull track car. There is a lot going on on campus.
“I’ve been back to back in the office doing my job.”
Ferrari failed to take advantage of the exciting news that they have signed Lewis Hamilton for 2025.
Horner has overseen a great run of success for Red Bull, which has won seven drivers’ championships under his leadership.
Several key Red Bull figures were in Milton Keynes, home to 1,500 employees, for the launch, including those from the energy drinks company’s Salzburg headquarters, including CEO Oliver Mintzlaff, former chief executive of football club RB Leipzig .
He and Horner talked for a few moments. Mintzlaff also spoke briefly to Max Verstappen, Horner’s star driver, who said relations with his team principal were “normal.”
There is some sense to suggestions that there is a move in Salzburg to clip Horner’s wings, a plot that has the Austrian contingent facing off against Chalerm Yoovidhya, the company’s billionaire Thai heir (who was not in Milton Keynes on Thursday, but is believed to be a sponsor of Horner).
Whatever the investigation into Horner reveals, F1 has a propensity for cruel murmuring that makes scheming Tory MPs look like anchorite monks. But, at least for now, Horner refuses to be deposed.