Christian Horner left his luxurious home in Highgate, north London, on Friday to embark on the fight of his life.
It was still dark, barely seven in the morning, and the Red Bull team principal was driven in a black BMW saloon to a secret location in the capital to plead his case over claims made by an employee that he had acted coercively towards her. she.
He denies all allegations but had to present his case to a KC, appointed as internal investigator by the team to investigate the matter.
Several media outlets were stationed at the Red Bull factory in Milton Keynes for the summit. They would be disappointed.
The meeting, as we reported on Friday, would take place at a neutral location, believed to be the lawyer’s office.
Red Bull boss Christian Horner faced day-long questioning over allegations of ‘inappropriate conduct’
Horner, who is married to former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, faced the fight of his life on Friday.
Horner (pictured with world champion Max Verstappen) is determined to continue in his role, which he has held for 19 years, winning 13 world titles, drivers and constructors, in that time.
The interrogation lasted all day, starting at 8:45 in the morning. No decision was reached on Friday night, but several sources say they want it finalized before the launch of the new car on Thursday.
Horner has not said anything publicly since the hearing. Other informed insiders believe the matter will drag on further in a case of “he says, she says, he says.”
“It will take some time,” said one F1 expert. ‘This is the first time they have spoken to Christian to find out his opinion on the matter and they need to ask the woman in question to respond. It may take some back and forth to reach a resolution.
There is certainly a desire within Red Bull to resolve the dispute before the start of the season, in Bahrain on March 2.
Neither Red Bull Racing, which last year secured Max Verstappen’s access to a third world championship with 19 victories, nor the parent company, Red Bull GmBH, which is carrying out the investigation, were willing to give more details about the conclusions. on Friday.
Horner, 50, husband of former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, is determined to continue in his role, which he has held for 19 years, winning 13 world titles, drivers and manufacturers, in that time.
A Red Bull GmBH spokesperson said on Monday: “After becoming aware of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation.”
They added: “The company takes these matters very seriously.”
Responding to the allegations, Horner said: “I completely deny the claims.”
Red Bull has said: “Upon learning of certain recent allegations, the company launched an independent investigation.” This process is carried out by an external specialist lawyer.
‘The investigation will be completed as soon as possible. “It would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”
With the new season on the horizon, Red Bull needs to make a decision soon on Horner’s future
Horner pictured with David Beckham on the grid at the Miami Grand Prix in May 2022
Horner’s supporters say he is a pawn in a broader power struggle in the organization, in a vacuum that occurred after the death of his main ally, Dietrich Mateschitz, the energy drink magnate who founded the company and died in October 2022.
Horner has been a staple of F1 life for more than 20 years and a great ally of Bernie Ecclestone, the sport’s one-time supreme and still a very important figure in any dispute.
Horner is a link to the sport’s heritage and still has the backing of Ecclestone. Horner remains confident that he can hold his own. Others within the sport doubt it.
But it has always been a tribal business, an ego-based hate party of rivals, and who can say?