Christian Horner has been pictured addressing a crucial hearing following an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour” at the Red Bull Formula One team.
The 50-year-old, who has been a director of Red Bull since its founding in 2005, was pictured leaving his north London home for the internal hearing expected to take place at the team’s headquarters in Milton Keynes.
Red Bull, the Austrian energy drink company that owns the team, said it had launched an independent investigation on Monday after learning of the allegations.
The accusation was made by another staff member of the British-based team that last year led Max Verstappen to his third consecutive world championship.
A source within the Red Bull team said the allegations related to “controlling behaviour” and it is alleged this was towards a female colleague.
An external lawyer from KC English has been appointed to investigate the complaint that the woman made to the parent company in Austria and not to the Red Bull team itself.
Horner, who is married to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, strongly refutes the allegation, saying: “I completely deny these claims.” He also described the accusation as “crazy”, in a message protesting his innocence to MailOnline.
But the Red Bull Racing boss’ future is now at stake, with inside sources telling BBC Sport they expect Horner to be sacked.
Christian Horner has been seen addressing a crucial hearing following an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour” at the Red Bull Formula One team.
Horner, who is married to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell (pictured together in Monaco last May), strongly refutes the allegation, saying: “I completely deny these claims.”
If Horner fails to survive his job, sources say an executive from the Austrian part of Red Bull is likely to replace him. If Horner were to resign, the effect on the sport would be seismic.
Since Red Bull announced its investigation, Horner has remained active in his role as team principal, along with his dual role as CEO of Red Bull Racing.
On Monday, Red Bull issued a statement saying it was investigating “certain recent allegations.”
He continued: ‘This process, which is already underway, is being carried out by an external specialist lawyer.
‘The company takes these matters very seriously and the investigation will be completed as soon as possible. “It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”
Today’s hearing threatens to overshadow the February 15 launch of Red Bull’s 2024 car, in which Verstappen will attempt to defend his world title. The new Formula One season begins in Bahrain on March 2.
But Horner’s supporters say he is a pawn in a broader power struggle in the organization, in a vacuum that has developed after the death of his main ally, Dietrich Mateschitz, the soft drink magnate, who died in October 2022.
Red Bull Formula One team boss Christian Horner left his home in north London yesterday.
Christian Horner and his wife Geri Halliwell at a book launch at the Tower of London last October.
Horner with Red Bull Formula One champion Max Verstappen in Qatar on October 7 last year.
Christian Horner with David Beckham on the grid at the Miami Grand Prix in May 2022
Christian Horner, pictured with Prince Harry before the Texas Grand Prix in October last year.
Horner and Halliwell meet then-Prince Charles at a Prince’s Trust event in London in 2019
A friend of Halliwell told MailOnline she is “devastated” by the allegations but will support him publicly.
Horner has been Red Bull team principal since entering F1 19 years ago, overseeing seven world drivers’ championships and six constructors’ titles.
Red Bull won 21 of the 22 rounds contested last year, and Verstappen set a record of 10 consecutive victories as he moved towards his third title in as many years.
Horner was awarded a CBE for his services to motor sport in the New Year’s Honors List. He and Halliwell married in 2015 and have a son together, seven-year-old Montague.